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Cell Immunol. 2006 Jan;239(1):1-13.

New insights to the immunopathology and autoimmune responses in primary biliary cirrhosis.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, USA.


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease with profound changes in different compartments of the immune system, including those involved in innate, and adaptive immunity. New data from epidemiological studies of PBC have reinforced the thesis that the cause for this relatively uncommon disease is likely to be a combination of both environmental factors and a susceptible genetic predisposition. Recent findings of abnormalities of the innate immune system in PBC suggest that they may serve as links between the environmental factors and the early events in PBC development. Viral and bacterial infections as well as xenobiotics are some of the potential environmental factors that have been implicated in this complex process. Identification of the etiological factors for PBC will point to new preventive or therapeutic treatments.

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