Autoimmune disease are brought about by the inability of our immune system to identify self-antigens due to intrinsic loss of tolerance. Autoimmune diseases can be classified into either systematic or organspecific diseases. The central dogma in autoimmune diseases is their etiopathogenesis. Large strides in understanding the complex processes that drive disease emergence have been made in the past decades, however ongoing investigation is warranted. The current paradigm in disease etiology points towards the complex interplay between environmental triggers and epigenetic deregulations in genetically susceptible
hosts. A variety of environmental factors have been proposed including viral infections, exposure to smoke, hormones, stress,
drugs, pollutants and dietary factors among others.
We aimed at investigating whether the frequency and function of T helper 17 (Th17) and regulatory T cells (Treg) are affected by a restriction of dietary sodium intake in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).