Autoimmunity and inflammation: murine models and translational studies
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- Hall, S.W. & Cooke, A. Mamm Genome (2011) 22: 377. doi:10.1007/s00335-011-9338-2
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Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, constitute an important and growing public health burden. However, in many cases our understanding of disease biology is limited and available therapies vary greatly in their efficacy and safety. Animal models of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases have provided valuable tools to researchers investigating their aetiology, pathology, and novel therapeutic strategies. Although such models vary in the degree to which they reflect human autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and caution is required in the extrapolation of animal data to the clinical setting, therapeutic approaches first evaluated in established animal models, including collagen-induced arthritis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and the nonobese diabetic mouse, have successfully progressed to clinical investigation and practice. Similarly, these models have proven useful in providing support for basic hypotheses regarding the underlying causes and pathology of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Here we review selected murine models of autoimmunity and inflammation and efforts to translate findings from these models into both basic insights into disease biology and novel therapeutic strategies.