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Auto Immun Highlights. 2016 Dec;7(1):11. doi: 10.1007/s13317-016-0083-0. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

Reactive oxygen species in organ-specific autoimmunity.

Author information

1
Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, G. D'Annunzio University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
4
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
5
Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA. pcat@jhmi.edu.
6
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. pcat@jhmi.edu.

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been extensively studied in the induction of inflammation and tissue damage, especially as it relates to aging. In more recent years, ROS have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Here, ROS accumulation leads to apoptosis and autoantigen structural changes that result in novel specificities. ROS have been implicated not only in the initiation of the autoimmune response but also in its amplification and spreading to novel epitopes, through the unmasking of cryptic determinants. This review will examine the contribution of ROS to the pathogenesis of four organ specific autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and vitiligo), and compare it to that of a better characterized systemic autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis). It will also discuss tobacco smoking as an environmental factor endowed with both pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant properties, thus capable of differentially modulating the autoimmune response.

KEYWORDS:

Autoimmunity; Hashimoto thyroiditis; Monoamine oxidase (MAO); Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Smoking

Conflict of interest statement

Giulia Di Dalmazi, Jason Hirshberg, Daniel Lyle, Joudeh B. Freij, and Patrizio Caturegli declare that they have no conflict of interest. Human and animal rights This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent This is a review article and therefore, Informed Consent from patients is not necessary.

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