Data illuminate autoimmunity gap between women and men


A recent study published in Cell suggests that the X chromosome in females may play a role in their increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases compared to males. Howard Y. Chang and colleagues found that the Xist ribonucleoprotein, which is only expressed in females, may contain autoantigenic components that contribute to autoimmunity. They observed in a mouse model that inducing Xist expression in male mice led to the development of autoantibodies and severe multi-organ pathology. These findings shed light on the role of sex-specific genetic factors in autoimmune diseases and could have implications for understanding and treating these conditions in humans.

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