Hyperstimulation of the immune system as a cause of autoimmune diseases

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The pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases is very complex and multi-factorial. The concept of “Mosaics of Autoimmunity” was introduced to the scientific community 30 years ago by Y. Shoenfeld and D.A. Isenberg, and since then new tiles to the puzzle are continuously added. This concept specifies general pathological ideas about the multifactorial threshold model for polygenic inheritance with a threshold effect by the action of a number of external causal factors as applied to the field of autoimmunology. Among the external factors that can excessively stimulate the immune system, contributing to the development of autoimmune reactions, researchers are particularly interested in chemical substances, which are widely used in pharmacology and medicine. In this review we highlight the autoimmune dynamics — i.e. a multistep pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and the subsequent development of lymphoma in some cases. In this context several issues are addressed — namely, genetic basis of autoimmunity; environmental immunostimulatory risk factors; gene/environmental interaction; pre-clinical autoimmunity with the presence of autoantibodies; and the mechanisms, underlying lymphomagenesis in autoimmune pathology. We believe that understanding the common model of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases is the first step to their successful management.

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About the authors

Varvara A. Ryabkova

Saint Petersburg State University

Email: varvara-ryabkova@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6973-9901
SPIN-code: 8991-9240

Russian Federation, Saint-Petersburg

Leonid P. Churilov

Saint Petersburg State University

Email: elpach@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6359-0026
SPIN-code: 8879-0875

Russian Federation, Saint-Petersburg

MD, PhD, Professor

Yehuda Shoenfeld

Saint Petersburg State University; Tel-Aviv University School of Medicine; The First I.M. Sechenov Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: shoenfel@post.tau.ac.il
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2802-4090
SPIN-code: 5950-3930

Israel, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Tel Hashomer 5265601

MD, PhD, Professor


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