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Pathogenesis of Wegener's granulomatosis: current concepts.

Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine

immunology, Th1 Cells, genetics, deficiency, Peroxidase, Myeloblastin, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Male, pathology, Lung, Kidney, Humans, etiology, drug therapy, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, Female, physiology, Cytokines, Child, Chemokines, Autoimmune Diseases, Autoantigens, Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic, Animals, Adult, Adolescent

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      Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a complex autoimmune syndrome that is characterised by upper/lower respiratory necrotising granulomatosis, glomerulonephritis and small-vessel vasculitis. Since Wegener's 1936 description, considerable advances in recognition and treatment have changed this disease from a rapidly and uniformly fatal illness to a chronic disease characterised by remissions and relapses. The serendipitous discovery of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) as a marker associated with WG focused attention on the potential pathogenic role of these antibodies and has recently led to the development of novel animal models that might facilitate our understanding of the disease pathogenesis. Future animal models of this disease will have to account for the role of both ANCA-mediated pathology and granulomatous inflammation to enable us to understand the chronic and persistent features of WG in humans.

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