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Summary:  Human autoimmune diseases are well suited for the application of gene expression profiling. Sampling of blood cells and target tissues has already revealed many important pathways contributing to this spectrum of disorders, and many commonalities are emerging. For instance, clinically distinct diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, dermatomyositis, and psoriasis all show evidence for dysregulation of the type I interferon pathway. These data suggest that autoimmune diseases will eventually be categorized at the level of gene expression. This work has led to advances in our understanding of disease pathogenesis and in the future promises to facilitate assessments of disease activity and improve targeting of therapies. Here, we review the literature on gene profiling in human autoimmune diseases and provide perspective on the current state of the art.