Skewed X chromosome inactivation in blood cells of women with scleroderma.
ABSTRACT Scleroderma (SSc) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. The disease is 3-8 times more frequent in women than in men. The role of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in the predisposition of women to autoimmunity has been questioned. Until now this has not been illustrated experimentally. This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that disturbances in XCI mosaicism may be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease in female patients with SSc.
Seventy female SSc patients and 160 female controls were analyzed for the androgen receptor locus by the Hpa II/polymerase chain reaction assay to assess XCI patterns in DNA extracted from peripheral blood cells. Furthermore, skin biopsy samples were obtained from 5 patients whose blood revealed an extremely skewed pattern of XCI, and the analysis repeated. Since microchimerism in SSc was reported, Y chromosome sequences were investigated in all samples.
Skewed XCI was observed in DNA from peripheral blood cells in 35 of 55 informative patients (64%), as compared with 10 of 124 informative controls (8%) (P < 0.0001). Extreme skewing was present in 27 of the patient group (49%), as compared with only 3 of the controls (2.4%) (P < 0.0001). However, XCI was random in all skin biopsy samples. The potential contribution of microchimerism to the random XCI pattern is highly unlikely based on the medical histories of the patients.
Skewed XCI mosaicism may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of SSc.
02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-869-4
Article: Author's personal copy Autoimmune disease and gender: Plausible mechanisms for the female predominance of autoimmunity[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t A large number of autoimmune diseases (ADs) are more prevalent in women. The more frequent the AD and the later it appears, the more women are affected. Many ideas mainly based on hormonal and genetic factors that influence the autoimmune systems of females and males differently, have been proposed to explain this predominance. These hypotheses have gained credence mostly because many of these diseases appear or fluctuate when there are hormonal changes such as in late adolescence and pregnancy. Differences in X chromosome characteristics between men and women with an AD have led researchers to think that the genetic background of this group of diseases also relates to the genetic determinants of gender. These hormonal changes as well as the genetic factors that could explain why women are more prone to develop ADs are herein reviewed.Journal of Autoimmunity 11/2011; 38(2-3):J109. · 7.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The focus of the present review is on the extent to which epigenetic alterations influence the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies directed at nuclear self-antigens. A DNA methylation defect in CD4+ T cells has long been observed in idiopathic and drug-induced lupus. Recent studies utilizing high-throughput technologies have further characterized the nature of the DNA methylation defect in lupus CD4+ T cells. Emerging evidence in the literature is revealing an increasingly interconnected network of epigenetic dysregulation in lupus. Recent reports describe variable expression of a number of regulatory microRNAs in lupus CD4+ T cells, some of which govern the expression of DNA methyltransferase 1. While studies to date have revealed a significant role for epigenetic defects in the pathogenesis of lupus, the causal nature of epigenetic variation in lupus remains elusive. Future longitudinal epigenetic studies in lupus are therefore needed.Arthritis research & therapy 10/2011; 13(5):245. · 4.27 Impact Factor