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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetics of autoimmune diseases: a multistep process.

It has so far been difficult to identify genes behind polygenic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), and type I diabetes (T1D). With proper animal models, some of the complexity behind these diseases can be reduced. The use of linkage analysis and positional cloning of genes in animal models for RA resulted in the identification of one of the genes regulating severity of arthritis in rats and mice, the Ncf1 gene. The Ncf1 gene encodes for the Ncf1 protein that is involved in production of free oxygen radicals through the NADPH oxidase complex, which opens up a new pathway for therapeutic treatment of inflammatory diseases. In most cases, however, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) is the sum effect of several genes within and outside the QTL, which make positional cloning difficult. Here we will discuss the possibilities and difficulties of gene identification in animal models of autoimmune disorders.[1]


  1. Genetics of autoimmune diseases: a multistep process. Johannesson, M., Hultqvist, M., Holmdahl, R. Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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