478
Autoantibodies and Autoimmunity
patients but not in SLE patients in Spain
or the United States.
Although care must be taken in their
interpretation, identifcation and charac-
terization oF genes that are associated with
autoimmunity and autoantibody produc-
tion constitute Fertile ground For the molec-
ular biologist. Elucidation oF the roles oF
the many genes that appear to contribute
to the development oF autoimmunity will
help defne the critical molecular events in
the disease process. The murine strains de-
scribed above have proven valuable model
systems For studies on a variety oF Facets
oF autoimmunity, and will play signifcant
roles in Future genetic studies. It will be
important to Focus attention not only on
the genetic loci that impart susceptibility
to autoimmunity but also on those that
may allow an individual to resist the devel-
opment oF autoimmune phenomena.
5
Perspectives
Initially used as aids in clinical diagnosis,
autoantibodies have become increasingly
useFul ‘‘reporter’’ molecules in the identif-
cation oF structure–Function relationships.
New autoantigens continue to be discov-
ered, while many described autoantigens
remain to be characterized both struc-
turally and Functionally. Autoantibodies
will fgure prominently in these characteri-
zation studies. As the molecular structures
oF the interaction between autoantigen and
autoantibody become known, it should be
possible to design peptide confgurations
capable oF perturbing the Functional activ-
ity oF numerous cellular processes.
Understanding the influence oF genes
and
their
products
not
only
on
susceptibility
but
also
on
resistance
to
autoimmunity
and
autoantibody
expression is in its inFancy. However,
t
h
et
o
o
l
st
om
a
t
u
r
et
h
i
sf
e
l
d(
i
n
b
r
e
d
animal
models
oF
spontaneous
and
induced autoimmunity, and the molecular
techniques
oF
transgenics
and
gene
knockout)
are
already
available.
They
await the complex but potentially FruitFul
identifcation and Functional analysis oF
candidate genes.
See also
Antibody Molecules, Ge-
netic Engineering oF.
Bibliography
Books and Reviews
Earnshaw, W.C.,
Rattner, J.B.
(1991)
The
Use
oF
Autoantibodies
in
the
Study
oF
Nuclear and Chromosomal Organization, in:
Hamkalo, B.A., Elgin, S.C.R. (Eds.)
Methods
in Cell Biology
, Vol. 35, Academic Press, New
York.
Kono, D.H., Theoflopoulos, A.N. (2001) Genet-
ics oF murine models oF systemic lupus
erythematosus, in: Wallace, D.J., Hahn, B.H.
(Eds.)
Dubois’ Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
,
6th edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.
Matzinger, P.
(2002)
The
danger
model:
a
renewed sense oF selF,
Science
296
, 301–305.
Medzhitov, R., Janeway, C.A. Jr. (2002) Decod-
ing the patterns oF selF and nonselF by the
innate immune system,
Science
296
, 298–300.
Peter, J.B., ShoenFeld, Y. (Eds.) (1996)
Autoanti-
bodies
, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Pollard, K.M.,
Hultman, P.
(1997) EFFects oF
mercury on the immune system,
Met. Ions
Biol. Syst.
34
, 421–440.
Rose, N.R.,
Mackay, I.R.
(Eds.)
(1998)
The
Autoimmune Diseases
, 3rd edition, Academic
Press, New York.
Rubin, R.L.,
Pollard, K.M.
(1997)
Chemical-
Induced
Autoimmunity,
in:
Hertzenberg,
L.A., Weir, D.M., Hertzenberg, L.A., Black-
well, C. (Eds.)
Handbook of Experimental Im-
munology
, 5th edition, Blackwell Scientifc
Publications, London.
Tan, E.M.
(1989)
Antinuclear
antibodies:
diagnostic markers For autoimmune diseases
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