Autoimmunity in women: An eXamination of eXisting models.

Autoimmunity in women: An eXamination of eXisting models. Clin Immunol. 2019 Oct 24;:108270 Authors: Yuen GJ Abstract In Western countries, about 5% of the population is affected by an autoimmune disease; in the United States, up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disorders [1]. Women comprise over 80% of the affected individuals for many autoimmune conditions, including Sjögren's syndrome, systemic sclerosis, Addison's disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and autoimmune thyroid diseases like Grave's disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis [2]. Additionally, the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Sjögren's syndrome is also skewed towards women (3:1, 2:1, and 9:1, respectively) [3]. Though the reason for this sex-based disparity remains unknown, it has been speculated that sex hormone-dependent signaling, acting either in conjunction with or independently from sex-specific and X-linked gene expression, may modulate the immune system in women such that it predisposes them to autoimmunity [4]. Sex hormones clearly have a critical role in autoimmunity, as exemplified by the 15-fold reduction in risk of developing SLE in men compared to pre-menopausal women, though this risk drops by only 2-fold after menopause [5]. The focus of this brief review, however, will be to explore the potential link between X-chromosome inactivation, a critical biological event that occurs only in femal...
Source: Clinical Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Clin Immunol Source Type: research

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