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1. There may be a leakage of normally inaccessible tissue antigen from its isolated location into an area where it comes into contact with the immunocompetent cells of the reticuloendothelial system. These reticuloendothelial cells do not recognize the formerly inaccessible antigen as “self” and react accordingly.
2. The antigens that are normally accessible to the RES cells may suddenly stimulate the production of autoantibodies. It is thought that this occurs as a result of the emergence of “forbidden clones” (colonies) of cells. Normally these cells are inactivated as a result of adaptive changes that occur during fetal life. For reasons not yet fully explained, these “forbidden clones” survive and emerge to produce an autoimmune reaction. It is believed that they may be activated by injury, disease, or a metabolic change in the body, or there may be a mutation of the forbidden clone cells and immunologically competent cells.
3. Certain body proteins may be so altered by viral infection, by combination with a drug or chemical, or by extensive trauma (as in a severe burn and myocardial infarction) that they are no longer recognized by the body as “self” and are therefore rejected as foreign.
Autoimmune disease can be viewed as a spectrum of disorders. At one end are organ-specific diseases, in which there is localized tissue damage resulting from the presence of specific auto-antibodies. An example is Hashimoto's disease of the thyroid, characterized by a specific lesion in the thyroid gland with infiltration by mononuclear cells, destruction of follicular cells, and production of antibodies with absolute specificity for certain thyroid constituents.
In the middle of the spectrum are disorders in which the lesion tends to be localized in one organ, but the antibodies are nonorgan specific. An example is primary biliary cirrhosis, in which there is inflammatory cell infiltration of the small bile ductule, but the serum antibodies are not specific to liver cells.
At the other end of the spectrum are non-organ specific diseases, in which lesions and antibodies are widespread throughout the body and not limited to one target organ. Systemic lupus erythematosus is an example of this type of autoimmune disease. Others include rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and postviral encephalomyelitis.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases varies with each specific disease, but in all cases the members of the health care team must strive to achieve a delicate balance between adequate suppression of the autoimmune reaction to avoid continued damage to the body tissues, and maintenance of sufficient functioning of the immune mechanism to protect the patient against foreign invaders.
autoimmune diseaseA condition in which the body recognises its own tissues as foreign and directs an immune response against them. Autoimmune disease is linked to production of antibodies against self-antigens, which affects ± 5% of adults (2/3 are women in Western nations).
Goodpasture’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, pernicious anaemia.
Autoimmune disease, defining features
• An antibody is present;
• The antibody interacts with a target (self-antigen);
• Passive transfer of serum reproduces features of the disease;
• Immunisation with the antigen reproduces the disease;
• Reduction of the antibody ameliorates the disease.
autoimmune diseaseClinical immunology Any condition in which the body recognizes its own tissues as foreign and directs an immune response against them; AD is linked to production of antibodies against self antigens, which affects ± 5% of adults–2⁄3 are ♀ in Western nations
au·to·im·mune dis·ease(aw'tō-i-myūn' di-zēz')
autoimmune diseaseOne of a wide range of conditions in which destructive inflammation of various body tissues is caused by antibodies produced because the body has ceased to regard certain cells of the affected part as ‘self’. Autoimmune diseases include ADDISON'S DISEASE, AUTOIMMUNE ENTEROPATHY, primary biliary cirrhosis, Goodpasture's syndrome, HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS, MYASTHENIA GRAVIS, MYXOEDEMA, PEMPHIGOID, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, SJOGREN'S SYNDROME, SYMPATHETIC OPHTHALMITIS, both forms of LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, THYROTOXICOSIS, ULCERATIVE COLITIS and possibly MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
au·to·im·mune dis·ease(aw'tō-i-myūn' di-zēz')
Patient discussion about Autoimmune disease
Q. Why does the body attack itself in autoimmune diseases? And if it’s possible - How come it doesn’t happen most of the time?
Q. I heard that omega 3 is good for autoimmune diseases- is that true? I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I take all sort of anti inflammatory drugs. And I heard I can take omega 3 and I’ll be able to cut down the medication.
Q. My boy has diabetes. Recently he was diagnosed with vitiligo. What is it and what can be the reason for this? My boy has diabetes. recently he was diagnosed with vitiligo. Our doctor said that he hopes it not a polyglandular autoimmune syndrome. what is vitiligo and what does this big phrase (polyglandular autoimmune syndrome) mean?
Normally vitiligo is not related with other disease like diabetes. However a little inheritance may include in the occurence of vitiligo.