molecular mimicry

(redirected from Antigenic mimickry)
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molecular mimicry

an antigenic similarity between unrelated macromolecules, believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of rheumatic fever and other diseases. See also mimicry.

molecular mimicry

Immunology A mechanism that may explain some forms of autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks self antigens that are structurally similar to nonself antigens

molecular mimicry

(mĭm′ĭk-rē)
Antigenic similarity between molecules found on some disease-causing microorganisms and on specific previously healthy body cells or tissues. Molecular mimicry is one explanation for autoimmune diseases. After infection with a microorganism whose surface contains antigens similar to those found in the body, the immune system may respond inappropriately by trying to damage these cells with similar surface antigens in otherwise healthy joints, blood vessels, or other organs.

molecular

of, pertaining to, or composed of molecules.

molecular activity
see enzyme activity.
molecular biology
study of the biochemical and biophysical aspects of the structure and function of genes and other subcellular entities, and of such specific proteins as hemoglobins, enzymes and hormones; it provides knowledge of cellular differentiation and metabolism and of comparative evolution.
molecular layer
layers of cells in both cerebellar and cerebral cortices.
molecular mimicry
see antigenic mimicry.
molecular weight
see molecular weight.