The new era of autoimmune disease research
Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, N-15 W-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:113 doi:10.1186/ar3335
See related research article by Lee et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/13/2/R63Published: 31 May 2011
Recent genome-wide association studies have advanced our understanding of genetic factors that underlie systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a multifactorial autoimmune disease characterized by various clinical manifestations. SLE also has an environmental component, which can trigger or exacerbate the disease. Despite extensive efforts aimed at elucidating the cellular and biological abnormalities that arise in the immune system of patients with SLE, its pathology remains unclear. Lee and colleagues recently carried out gene expression profiling of patients with SLE followed by bioinformatics analysis and discovered the existence of abnormal regulatory networks and potential key molecules. The authors found that ATP synthesis and DNA repair pathways may be involved in the pathogenesis, providing a potential explanation for photosensitivity experienced by patients with SLE.