All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for February 2004

The use of microarrays to study autoimmunity

J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004 Jan;9(1):18-22
Moser KL, Gaffney PM, Grandits ME, Emamian ES, Machado DB, Baechler EC, Rhodus NL, Behrens TW.
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA

As with the development of any novel and potentially powerful technology, the prospect of revealing new information that may dramatically change our understanding of biological processes can generate much excitement.

Such is true for the emerging genomic approaches that make possible high-density assays using microarray platforms.

Indeed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine any area of biology that could not be affected by the wide range of potential applications of microarray technology.

Numerous examples, such as those from the field of oncology, provide striking evidence of the power of microarrays to bring about extraordinary advances in molecularly defining important disease phenotypes that were otherwise unrecognized using conventional approaches such as histology.

However, only a few studies in autoimmunity are available to date.

Very recent work in alopecia areata, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren's syndrome illustrates the potential for gaining new insights into the pathophysiology of these complex autoimmune disorders on a global, molecular scale.

These new insights are likely to significantly improve our understanding of disease processes, diagnosis, identification of new therapeutic targets, and identification of patients most likely to benefit from specific and tailored therapies.