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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 9392132, 18 pages
Review Article

Emerging Role and Therapeutic Implication of Wnt Signaling Pathways in Autoimmune Diseases

1Center of Laboratory Medicine, The General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China
2Department of Rheumatology, The General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan 750004, China
3Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for the Conservation and Utilization of Special Biological Resources of Western China, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
4Institute of Human Stem Cell Research at the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750004, China

Received 21 December 2015; Revised 5 March 2016; Accepted 9 March 2016

Academic Editor: Paola Nistico

Copyright © 2016 Juan Shi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Wnt signaling pathway plays a key role in many biological aspects, such as cellular proliferation, tissue regeneration, embryonic development, and other systemic effects. Under a physiological condition, it is tightly controlled at different layers and arrays, and a dysregulated activation of this signaling has been implicated into the pathogenesis of various human disorders, including autoimmune diseases. Despite the fact that therapeutic interventions are available for ameliorating disease manifestations, there is no curative therapy currently available for autoimmune disorders. Increasing lines of evidence have suggested a crucial role of Wnt signaling during the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases; in addition, some of microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small, noncoding RNA molecules capable of transcriptionally regulating gene expression, have also recently been demonstrated to possess both physiological and pathological roles in autoimmune diseases by regulating the Wnt signaling pathway. This review summarizes currently our understanding of the pathogenic roles of Wnt signaling in several major autoimmune disorders and miRNAs, those targeting Wnt signaling in autoimmune diseases, with a focus on the implication of the Wnt signaling as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in immune diseases, as well as miRNA-mediated regulation of Wnt signaling activation in the development of autoimmune diseases.