Autoimmune diseases are ones which causes your immune system to attack your own body due to the effect of the bacteria or virus inside the body. Many autoimmune diseases are very common in humans including celiac disease, systemic lupus erythematous, diabetes mellitus type 1, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. However, it was more common to find such diseases in women rather than men.
A new study conducted by a team of scientists from the U-M Medical School was focused on understanding the relation between the high numbers of autoimmune diseases and women. This study was initiated due to the fact that women suffer from autoimmune diseases nine times more than men. The study showed that a substance (molecular switch) in the skin called VGLL3 is responsible for the event. Too much VGLL3 in the body will increase the risk of the immune system to develop autoimmune diseases. Women tend to contain VGLL3 in their skin more than men do.
The study was led by PhD holder, Johann Gudjonsson who is a professor of dermatology at the U-M Medical School. He commented on his results saying, “VGLL3 appears to regulate immune response genes that have been implicated as important to autoimmune diseases that are more common in women, but that don’t appear to be regulated by sex hormones. Now, we have shown that over-expression of VGLL3 in the skin of transgenic mice is by itself sufficient to drive a phenotype that has striking similarities to systemic lupus erythematous, including skin rash, and kidney injury.”