Unraveling the soul of autoimmune diseases: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment adding dowels to the puzzle

Immunol Res. 2013 Jul;56(2-3):200-5. doi: 10.1007/s12026-013-8429-4.


The pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases (ADs) is characterized by a complex interaction between genetic, immune defects, environmental and hormonal factors. The concept of "mosaic of autoimmunity" deals with the multi-factorial origin and diversity of expression of ADs in humans. Genetic leads to a predisposition in developing an autoimmune syndrome, but the presence of an external or endogenous environmental factor, recently called "exposome," is essential in triggering the immune response. Infections as well as the expositions to different other external environmental agents have been identified as potential trigger for ADs. A new syndrome, namely the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants, has recently been defined alluding to the key role of adjuvant in inducing an immune-mediated condition. Aluminum and silicone, respectively found in vaccines and breast implants, are the most commonly known adjuvants charged with development of autoimmune conditions. Similarly to playing chess, unraveling the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases with every new discovery is adding a move to the game aiming at checkmating ADs.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / therapy
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Immunotherapy / trends


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Autoantibodies
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Complement System Proteins