Scientists believe they have found the key to autoimmune diseases in women

Scientists believe they have found the key to autoimmune diseases in women

When someone is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, four out of five times, it is a woman. Scientists have never been able to explain why women have a greater risk of developing autoimmune diseases, but new research published in 2019 does cell February 1st could hold the answer. The key lies in the X chromosome.

A team of researchers led by Stanford University scientists has found that a molecule called Xist (pronounced like “there”) may be responsible for triggering a defense response in females that causes their immune system to attack healthy cells. The study explains that most autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, occur when the body begins to attack its own proteins.

Females have two X chromosomes (packages of genetic material that instruct cells to produce proteins), while men have one It wraps itself around one of the females’ Xist molecules are only found in women because they have two X chromosomes.

When female cells die naturally, Howard Chang, MD, a leader of the Stanford study, believes that in some cases the immune system may encounter Xist molecules with several proteins associated with them, confusing the immune system into thinking the molecules are foreign invaders. This, in turn, can prompt the immune system to develop antibodies that attack Schist’s disease, according to what was reported by the “Russia Today” website. New York times.

Xist is not normally expressed in male cells, so the Stanford University study looked at male mice that had been genetically modified to be able to produce Xist. “Once male mice overexpress Xist, they develop much worse levels of immune disease,” Dr. Zhang explained. the The New York Times.

“This is like a completely different and new explanation for the female bias in immune diseases,” Zhang said. Statistics News. “What our study really showed is that it’s not just the second X chromosome, it’s actually a very special RNA that comes from the second X chromosome, and maybe this RNA plays a key role.”

However, other researchers believe it is too early to determine whether an antibody response to Xist is the cause, and that more research is needed. Statistics News And New York times.

However, the study emphasizes that a better understanding of how autoimmune diseases occur could help experts develop new tests that are able to detect them faster and lead to more effective treatments.

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Sydney is a freelance beauty, lifestyle and wellness writer. She has written for numerous publications throughout her career, including InStyle, Architectural Digest, Glamor, and Elle, as well as copywriting for a number of beauty and wellness brands.

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