The peer-reviewed publications in the field of autoimmunity published in 2013 represented a significant proportion of immunology articles and grew since the previous year to indicate that more immune-mediated phenomena may recognize an autoimmune mechanism and illustrated by osteoarthritis and atherosclerosis. As a result, our understanding of the mechanisms of autoimmunity is becoming the paradigm for translational research in which the progress in disease pathogenesis for both tolerance breakdown and inflammation perpetuation is rapidly followed by new treatment approaches and clinical management changes. The similarities across the autoimmune disease spectrum outnumber differences, particularly when treatments are compared. Indeed, the therapeutics of autoimmune diseases are based on a growing armamentarium that currently includes monoclonal antibodies and small molecules which act by targeting molecular markers or intracellular mediators with high specificity. Among the over 100 conditions considered as autoimmune, the common grounds are well illustrated by the data reported for systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis or by the plethora of studies on Th17 cells and biomarkers, particularly serum autoantibodies. Further, we are particularly intrigued by studies on the genomics, epigenetics, and microRNA at different stages of disease development or on the safe and effective use of abatacept acting on the costimulation of T and B cells in rheumatoid arthritis. We are convinced that the data published in 2013 represent a promising background for future developments that will exponentially impact the work of laboratory and clinical scientists over the next years.
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