Department of Surgical Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 324, 00161, Rome, Italy.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, at the boundary with the outside environment. Primarily, it provides a physical and chemical barrier against external insults, but it can act also as immune organ because it contains a whole host of immune-competent cells of both the innate and the adaptive immune systems, which cooperate in eliminating invading pathogens following tissue injury. On the other hand, improper skin immune responses lead to autoimmune skin diseases (AISD), such as pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid, vitiligo, and alopecia. Although the interplay among genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors has been shown to play a major role in AISD etiology and progression, the molecular mechanisms underlying disease development are far from being fully elucidated. In this context, epidemiological studies aimed at defining the association of different AISD with other autoimmune pathologies revealed possible shared molecular mechanism(s) responsible for disease progression. In particular, over the last decades, a number of reports have highlighted a significant association between thyroid diseases (TD), mainly autoimmune ones (AITD), and AISD. Here, we will recapitulate the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and pathogenesis of the main AISD, and we will summarize the epidemiological evidence showing the associations with TD as well as possible molecular mechanism(s) underlying TD and AISD pathological manifestations.
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