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J Intern Med. 2011 Jun;269(6):591-603. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02375.x.

Shared genetics in coeliac disease and other immune-mediated diseases.

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Department of Genetics, University Medical Centre Groningen and University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Identifying disease-associated variants can improve the predictive models of disease risk and provide mechanistic insights into disease development. Coeliac disease (CD) is the only autoimmune trait with a known environmental trigger, which makes it an excellent model for studying the complexity of genetic and environmental factors in the development of autoimmunity. In this review, we will focus on the genetic loci that have recently been associated with CD and that contain genes involved in innate and adaptive immunity. Some of these loci are shared with other immune-mediated diseases, suggesting an overlap of the genetic mechanisms involved in the development of such diseases. Some therapies, e.g. tumour necrosis factor inhibitors or a gluten-free diet, are already proving effective for more than one autoimmune disease. Follow-up of individuals with a high genetic risk of CD and other autoimmune diseases could help to elucidate the role of environmental factors (such as infectious agents or alterations in the microbiome) and prevent disease development.

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