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Autoimmunity

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Topic updated on 03/21/15 4:04pm

Overview
  • Definition 
    • failure of self tolerance
      • normally self-reactive immune cells are deleted
        • during develoment in thymus/bone marrow
        • in peripheral lymph tissue
  • Pathogenesis
    • genetic predisposition
      • certain MHC II HLA types more likely to trigger autoimmunity
        • specific types given in Structure and function of MHC
    • infections
      • molecular mimicry
        • cross reactivity between infectious antigen and self
          • e.g. heart damage with rhumatic fever following S. pyogenes infection
      • Loss of immune-privilege
        • self antigens which are normally protected from immune cells are exposed to following inflammation/trauma
  • Treatment
    • immunosuppressants
      • see Immunosuppressants topic
 


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