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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Oct;93(10):3663-70. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-1251.

Update in endocrine autoimmunity.

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  • 1University of California-San Francisco Diabetes Center, San Francisco, California 94143-0540, USA.



The endocrine system is a common target in pathogenic autoimmune responses, and there has been recent progress in our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of autoimmune endocrine diseases.


Rapid progress has recently been made in our understanding of the genetic factors involved in endocrine autoimmune diseases. Studies on monogenic autoimmune diseases that include endocrine phenotypes like autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 and immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked have helped reveal the role of key regulators in the maintenance of immune tolerance. Highly powered genetic studies have found and confirmed many new genes outside of the established role of the human leukocyte antigen locus with these diseases, and indicate an essential role of immune response pathways in these diseases. Progress has also been made in identifying new autoantigens and the development of new animal models for the study of endocrine autoimmunity. Finally, although hormone replacement therapy is still likely to be a mainstay of treatment in these disorders, there are new agents being tested for potentially treating and reversing the underlying autoimmune process.


Although autoimmune endocrine disorders are complex in etiology, these recent advances should help contribute to improved outcomes for patients with, or at risk for, these disorders.

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