Evidence for impaired t cell dna methylation in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis

Authors

  • Bruce Richardson MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, and Veterans Administration Hospital
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    • Department of Internal Medicine. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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  • Lee Scheinbart BS,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • John Strahler PhD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Laura Gross MS,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Samir Hanash MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Marcia Johnson MD, PhD

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
    2. Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Abstract

Procainamide and hydralazine inhibit T cell DNA methylation and induce autoreactivity in cloned CD4+ T cells. These drugs also induce an autoimmune syndrome, suggesting a possible relationship between DNA hypomethylation, T cell autoreactivity, and certain autoimmune diseases. To test this relationship, DNA methylation was studied in T cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, and was found to be impaired. These results support a relationship between DNA hypomethylation and some forms of autoimmune disease.

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