Abstract

Autoimmunity is the break of tolerance to self-antigens that leads to organ-specific or systemic diseases often characterized by the presence of pathogenic autoreactive antibodies (AAb) produced by plasmablast and/or plasma cells. AAb are prevalent in the general population and not systematically associated with clinical symptoms. In contrast, in some individuals, these AAb are pathogenic and drive the development of signs and symptoms of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases (AbAID). AAb production, isotype profiles, and glycosylations are promoted by pro-inflammatory triggers linked to genetic, environmental, and hormonal parameters. Recent evidence supports a role for pathogenic AAb of the IgE isotype in a number of AbAID. Autoreactive IgE can drive the activation of mast cells, basophils, and other types of FcεRI-bearing cells and may play a role in promoting autoantibody production and other pro-inflammatory pathways. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the pathogenicity of autoreactive IgE in AbAID and their status as therapeutic targets. We also highlight unresolved issues including the need for assays that reproducibly quantify IgE AAbs, to validate their diagnostic and prognostic value, and to further study their pathophysiological contributions to AbAID.

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