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Acta Biochim Pol. 2008;55(4):629-47. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

The role of nuclear factor-kappaB in the development of autoimmune diseases: a link between genes and environment.

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Department of Endocrinology, Medical Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland.


Although autoimmune diseases are relatively common, mechanisms that lead to their development remain largely unknown. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), as a key transcription factor involved in the regulation of immune responses and apoptosis, appears to be a good candidate for studies on the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. This review presents how perturbations of the NF-kappaB signaling pathway may contribute to self-tolerance failure, initiation of autoimmune inflammatory response as well as its persistent maintenance and therefore to the development of common autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, thyroid autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus as well as inflammatory bowel diseases and psoriasis. A special emphasis is put on the genetic variations in the NF-kappaB related genes and their possible association with susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, as well as on the therapeutic potential of the NF-kappaB targeted strategies in the treatment of autoimmunity.

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