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JAX publishes online tool for exploring autoimmune disease gene networks

Bar Harbor, Maine - Currently, 5-8% of the U.S. population is afflicted with an autoimmune disease ( Many of these are chronic and require life-long care. Moreover, different autoimmune diseases aggregate within a single family, suggesting they are caused by disruptions in common biological pathways.

To help researchers investigate these common pathways, The Jackson Laboratory has published "Pathways to Discovery: Autoimmune Diseases" (, a unique, interactive, and publicly accessible online resource that illustrates the genetic networks involved in five common autoimmune diseases: inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

The backbone of the new tool is five "spider-web" diagrams that depict the gene/proteins involved in two or more of the five diseases. The symbols in the diagrams represent cytokines, transmembrane receptors, enzymes, nuclear receptors, and transcriptional regulators. The resource also provides gene- and disease-specific references, links to JAX Mice strains (including inducible mouse models) that can be used to research the five diseases, and descriptions of JAX In Vivo Services for compound efficacy testing.

"Pathways to Discovery: Autoimmune Diseases" promises to accelerate the discovery of autoimmune disease mechanisms and therapeutic interventions for both new and existing targets. Check it out today at


Contact: Joyce Peterson
Jackson Laboratory

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