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Abstract: New concepts in the pathogenesis of Sjogren syndrome: many questions, fewer answers

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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2003 Sep;15(5):563-70.  Hansen A, Lipsky PE, Dorner T.  Charite University Hospital, Berlin, Germany. arne.hansen@charite.de

Although a modified European-American consensus classification of Sjogren syndrome has been introduced during the last year, the etiopathogenesis of this disease characterized by chronic lymphocytic inflammation, impaired function, and, finally, destruction of the salivary and lacrimal glands as well as systemic manifestations remains to be elucidated.

Recent insights into the pathogenesis of Sjogren syndrome resulting from immunogenetic, hormonal, and epidemiologic evaluations as well as animal and in vitro studies are highlighted by this review.

Evidence confirms that lymphocytic disturbances, including ectopic germinal center formation and aberrations of cellular signaling play a significant role in Sjogren syndrome. Although some of these features are unique to Sjogren syndrome, others are also found in a number of systemic autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The underlying cause of Sjogren syndrome remains largely enigmatic.
However, distinct characteristics may provide the basis for the classification of the disease entities.

Finally, an enhanced risk of lymphomagenesis is a well-known hallmark of primary Sjogren syndrome, indicating the central role of derangement of lymphocyte regulation. As demonstrated by the introduction of the new targeted therapeutic approaches in rheumatoid arthritis, solid insights into the pathogenesis of Sjogren syndrome may pave the way toward new therapeutic approaches.

PMID: 12960481 [PubMed – in process]

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