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Semin Immunol. 2011 Apr;23(2):92-8. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Smoking, citrullination and genetic variability in the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet/Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.


This review describes how studies on interactions between genetic variants, and environmental factors, mainly smoking, contribute to the understanding of how autoimmunity to post-translationally (citrullinated) proteins/peptides may occur and potentially contribute to certain subsets of rheumatoid arthritis. A main message is that studies on specific immune mechanisms in a complex and heterogeneous disease like RA should be undertaken with the help of results from genetic epidemiology. By those means, it may be possible to identify subsets of RA in a way that in the end allows development and testing of precise and subset-specific interventions against environment as well as genetically defined molecular pathways, in particular those that regulate specific immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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