Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Risk factors identified for autoimmune hepatitis after liver transplant

A multicenter study performed by a large international consortium that includes UT Southwestern has outlined a set of risk factors and outcomes for patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) that recurs after liver transplantation. ...

Immunology

Virtual immune system roadmap unveiled

An article published May 20 in npj Digital Medicine provides a step-by-step plan for an international effort to create a digital twin of the human immune system.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Kidney protein as potential target for treating autoimmune diseases

Approximately 23.5 million people in the U.S. have an autoimmune disease, and some studies suggest that number could be rising. New research using a mouse model for multiple sclerosis has uncovered a potential new area to ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What may be behind the unexplained cases of hepatitis in kids?

Several countries, including the U.S., have identified or are investigating unexplained hepatitis cases in children. While the reported cases are appearing in clusters, they remain rare. About 200 children are affected worldwide.

Genetics

Exploring autoimmunity's regulatory roots

Our genome contains vast networks that regulate the activity of protein-coding genes. Variations in this regulatory DNA (which does not encode proteins) may affect both when and how much of a given protein a cell produces. ...

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Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which allows an immune response against its own cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is often caused by a lack of germ development of a target body and as such the immune response acts against its own cells and tissues. Prominent examples include Coeliac disease, diabetes mellitus type 1 (IDDM), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren's syndrome, Churg-Strauss Syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus and allergies. Autoimmune diseases are very often treated with steroids.

The misconception that an individual's immune system is totally incapable of recognizing self antigens is not new. Paul Ehrlich, at the beginning of the twentieth century, proposed the concept of horror autotoxicus, wherein a 'normal' body does not mount an immune response against its own tissues. Thus, any autoimmune response was perceived to be abnormal and postulated to be connected with human disease. Now, it is accepted that autoimmune responses are an integral part of vertebrate immune systems (sometimes termed 'natural autoimmunity'), normally prevented from causing disease by the phenomenon of immunological tolerance to self-antigens. Autoimmunity should not be confused with alloimmunity.

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