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Perspectives on epigenetic-based immune intervention for rheumatic diseases

Steven G Gray

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Room 2.103, Institute of Molecular Medicine, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:207  doi:10.1186/ar4167

Published: 14 March 2013


Rheumatic disease can loosely be described as any painful condition affecting the loco-motor system, including joints, muscles, connective tissues, and soft tissues around the joints and bones. There is a wide spectrum of rheumatic diseases, many of which involve autoimmunity, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. A significant body of evidence now links aberrant epigenetic regulation of gene expression with rheumatic disease and points toward the use of epigenetic targeting agents as potential new treatment options, particularly for those conditions associated with an autoimmune element. In this perspective, I will briefly cover the current knowledge surrounding this area in the field of rheumatology.