Current concepts of autoimmune exocrinopathy: immunologic mechanisms in the salivary pathology of Sjögren's syndrome

Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1996;7(2):144-58. doi: 10.1177/10454411960070020301.


Sjögren's syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by symptoms of oral and ocular dryness and a chronic, progressive loss of salivary and lacrimal function. The exocrine involvement is the result of a focal, peri-ductal mononuclear cell infiltrate and the subsequent loss of secretory epithelial cells. The mechanisms of this autoimmune exocrinopathy are not understood fully. Many recent investigations have described alterations in a number of immune mediators within the salivary glands. These studies provide new insights into the immune regulation of normal salivary gland functions and the mechanisms of gland damage in Sjögren's syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / immunology
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / physiopathology
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / immunology*
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / physiopathology
  • Salivary Glands / immunology
  • Salivary Glands / physiopathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Xerophthalmia / physiopathology
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology


  • Cytokines