Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

To try to understand autoimmunity, attention has often fallen on the process of cell death. After all, apoptosis is used during selection of immunocytes, cells in the target organs end up dying and mutations to cell death genes have been found in some autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, some autoimmune-prone mice fail to develop disease when certain cell death genes are deleted, and transgenic mice expressing other cell death genes develop autoimmunity. However, only a tiny proportion of human autoimmune disease is associated with mutations to individual genes and even in these rare cases the genetic background has a major influence on the severity of disease. An understanding of the pathophysiology of common autoimmune diseases will require elucidation of many different systems that interact in complex ways, of which the process of apoptosis is just one.


Journal article


Curr Opin Immunol

Publication Date





719 - 724


Animals, Apoptosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Autoimmunity, Disease Models, Animal, Gene Deletion, Gene Expression, Humans, Immune System, Mutation, Transgenes