The therapeutic potential of epigenetics in autoimmune diseases

Maria De Santis, Carlo Selmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autoimmune diseases now include over 100 conditions and are estimated to affect over 20 million people in the United States or 5% of the world population with numerous geographical differences coined as geoepidemiology. Further, concordance rates in monozygotic twins are significantly higher compared to dizygotic sets while being significantly below 50% for most autoimmune diseases. These lines of evidence suggest that additional mechanisms are needed to link the individual susceptibility with the proposed chemical and infectious factors in the environment. Epigenetics may well constitute this missing link to include DNA methylation, histone changes, and microRNA which contribute to the epigenome characterizing specific diseases. Importantly, these epigenetic changes may be ideal targets for new personalized treatments as suggested by data in cancer. A number of chemical and physical factors, along with proposed infectious agents or aging, are involved in the etiopathogenesis of autoimmune diseases through epigenetic changes. The most prominent evidence on the association between environment and autoimmunity has been reported in systemic lupus erythematosus, but similar mechanisms were proposed in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-101
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Epigenomics
Autoimmune Diseases
Monozygotic Twins
Systemic Scleroderma
DNA Methylation
MicroRNAs
Autoimmunity
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Histones
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Therapeutics
Population
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • DNA Methylation
  • Environment
  • Geoepidemiology
  • Histone modification
  • Tolerance breakdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this

The therapeutic potential of epigenetics in autoimmune diseases. / De Santis, Maria; Selmi, Carlo.

In: Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, Vol. 42, No. 1, 02.2012, p. 92-101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De Santis, Maria ; Selmi, Carlo. / The therapeutic potential of epigenetics in autoimmune diseases. In: Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology. 2012 ; Vol. 42, No. 1. pp. 92-101.
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