Genetic predisposition to autoimmunity - What have we learned?

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59 Scopus citations


Rapid advances in genetic technologies have led to the identification of more than 85 loci that contribute to susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. These susceptibility genes are distributed throughout the innate and adaptive immune systems, indicating that dysregulations in both immune systems participate in the development of autoimmunity. A significant subset of these susceptibility genes are shared between multiple autoimmune diseases. However, the dysregulation of specific pathways, such as the pathogen recognition receptors of the innate immune system and the TNF supergene family, are significantly involved in some autoimmune diseases. Although these findings dramatically increase the details available concerning the nature of genetic predisposition to autoimmunity, a mechanistic understanding of the processes involved has not been achieved. Future studies must focus on correlating phenotypes with specific genotypes to improve our understanding of the immune processes that are dysregulated during the development of autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Association
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • GWAS
  • Susceptibility
  • Variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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