The identification of novel targets for improved diagnosis and pharmaceutical intervention is of critical importance for better treatment of autoimmune diseases in the future. The possibility to measure levels of gene expression for tens of thousands of genes simultaneously and in a quantitative fashion will greatly enhance our knowledge of genes and pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. Initial studies have focused on the gene expression profiling of homogeneous cell populations. Genomic-scale gene expression profiling has also more recently been applied to tissue samples from patients with immunopathologies. The scope of the present review is to discuss recent progress in this field with respect to the identification of novel target molecules.
Keywords: autoimmune diseases, high-throughput EST sequencing, microarrays, target identification, T lymphocytes