Primary biliary cirrhosis and Sjögren's syndrome: Autoimmune epithelitis

Carlo Selmi, Pier Luigi Meroni, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) has been often coined a model autoimmune disease based on the homogeneity amongst patients, the frequency and similarity of antimitochondrial antibodies, including the highly directed immune response to pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDC-E2). A significant number of patients with PBC suffer from sicca and amongst these, there are patients who also have classic Sjögren's syndrome. Indeed, both PBC and Sjögren's syndrome are characterized by inflammation of target epithelial elements. Both diseases can be considered on the basis of a number of other related clinical aspects, including proposed unique apoptotic features of the target tissue, the role of secretory IgA, and the frequency with which both diseases overlap with each other. Indeed, PBC may be considered a Sjögren's syndrome of the liver, whereas Sjögren's syndrome can be equally discussed as PBC of the salivary glands. Dissection of the genetic predispositions for both diseases and especially the molecular basis of effector mechanisms, will become critical elements in developing new therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Autoantibodies
  • Epithelium
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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