Biotechnology Articles Publish Your Biotechnology Research/Articles Online

Share your knowledge - Get Recognition | International Audience - Great Readership
  

Home | Submit Articles | Login   
 
ALL Categories AGRICULTURE CAREERS GENETICS HEALTHCARE ISSUES NEWS STEM CELLS
 
 

Autoimmunity - Overview and Classification of Autoimmune Diseases

BY: Preethi Venkateswaran | Category: Biotech-Research | Submitted: 2011-03-30 02:24:28
 

   No Photo
•    Post a Comment

Share this article with friends:



Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)


Immune system is like any other system which leads to failure of some or all the parts. This failure can lead to disastrous consequences. When the immune system fails to recognize its own cells and begins to destroy them the result is autoimmunity. When the system errs by failing to protect the host from the disease causing agents the result is immunodeficiency. It was Paul Ehrlich who coined autoimmunity and termed this condition as 'horror autotoxicus.'

Initially it was believed that failure to eliminate lymphocytes during the development of bone marrow and thymus led to autoimmune diseases. Later in the 1970's it was seen that not all self-reactive lymphocytes were depleted during T-cell and B- cell maturation instead sometimes these cells re-circulate and mature. These do not always lead to autoimmune responses in humans, so they must be regulated by clonal suppression. Breakdown of this regulation can lead to activation of T cell and B cell clones generating secondary responses against self antigens. These can cause serious damage to tissues and organs. Many autoimmune diseases are characterized by tissue destruction mediated by T cells for example Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) where the T cells attack the joints leading to an inflammatory response.

Other probable causes of autoimmune diseases could be genetic, environmental, infectious factors. Recent reports have shown association between 2-nonynoic acid, a cosmetic substance and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). This is nine times more likely to occur in women. Other triggers of autoimmune diseases could be smoking, bacterial and retroviral proteins, hormone replacement therapy and use of nail paint. These are just some probable causes for autoimmune diseases. Many of these are still being researched.

Autoimmune diseases can be classified into two categories:
1) Organ specific diseases.
2) Systemic autoimmune diseases.
Several animal models are used to understand autoimmune diseases and recently there have been many therapies for treating these outrageous yet miraculous diseases.

1) Organ Specific Autoimmune diseases
Here the immune responses are directed to a target antigen unique to a particular organ or gland. The cells of the organ may be directly affected by humoral or cell mediated effector mechanisms or sometimes the antibodies over stimulate or block the normal functions of target organ.
Some autoimmune diseases involve direct cellular damage and thus happen when lymphocytes or antibodies bind to the cell membrane antigens causing cell lysis. Gradually the organ declines due to cellular destruction.

Some of the common organ specific autoimmune diseases are Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is characterized by infiltration of thyroid gland by lymphocytes, macrophages and plasma cells. Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia is where the person makes auto antibodies to RBC antigens triggering complement mediated lysis and phagocytosis of RBC's
Some auto immune diseases are mediated by auto-antibodies which act as antagonists. These bind to hormone receptors and stimulate inappropriate activity. This leads to overproduction of mediators or increase in cell growth. These auto-antibodies may act as blocking receptors too. This in turn causes impaired secretion of mediators and atrophy of affected organ. Examples of these are Graves' disease and Myasthenia Gravis.

2) Systemic Autoimmune Diseases
Here the response is directed towards a broad range of target antigens and involves a number of organs and tissues. These affect the immune system on the whole, which in turn activates the T cells and B cells. Tissue damage is widespread here. The best example of this type is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). It appears mostly in females. Affected individuals produce auto-antibodies to a vast array of tissue antigens such as DNA, histones, RBC's, platelets, leukocytes and clotting factors, interaction of these with specific antigens produce various symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is another common systemic autoimmune disease. People who have MS produce autoreactive T cells that participate in the formation of inflammatory lesions of nerve fibres. The Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) of MS patients has T lymphocytes activated which penetrate the brain tissue and cause lesions which in turn destroys the myelin sheath. Breakdown of the myelin sheath leads to many neurological disorders.

Autoimmunity is still a wonder scientists are trying to understand. A lot of time and money is currently invested in research of the causes of autoimmune diseases, diagnosis and treatment. Until then one can just hope not to have these deadly 'horror autotoxicus.'

About Author / Additional Info:
A budding technical writer


Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment Comment By Comment Date

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 3231



Additional Articles:
•   Physico-Chemical Properties of Petroleum Polluted Soil Collected From Transport
•   Telomerase Enzyme and Anti Aging Supplements - Can we be Young Forever?
•   If You Feel Sluggish on a Daily Basis Here Are a Few Suggestions to Boost Energy
•   Species Interactions - Interspecific Competition

Latest Articles in "Biotech-Research" category:
•   Human Longevity: A Revolution in Biotechnology and Nanotechnology.
•   Nanoparticles as Delivery Device For Gene Therapy
•   Biotechnology as a Tool in Medicine: Focus on Artemisinin
•   Tissue Cells and Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Embryonic Stem Cells:-
•   Polymerase Chain Reaction (or PCR) - Technique For Amplifying DNA
•   Treatment of Heart Disease With Stem Cells
•   Biological Activities and Bioassays
•   DNA Sequencing: Maxam Gilbert Method
•   PCR Aspects and its Future | PCR versus Cloning
•   Plasmid as Vectors For Plant Transformation
•   Gene Isolation and Characterisation
•   Apoptosis and Cancer: A Review
•   Extraction of Nucleic Acids (DNA and RNA) From Plant Tissues
•   Stem Cells From Bone Marrow and Vein Leftovers Can Heal Damaged Hearts
•   Gene Transfer Techniques: Biolistics, Bacterial and Viral Transformation
•   Breast Cancer: Cactus For Womens Life
•   Mtt Assay: Assess The Viability Of Cell In Culture
•   Medicinal Plants: Source Of Medicine
•   Biotechnology Impact on Alzheimer's Disease


Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 biotecharticles.com - Do not copy articles from this website.
| Home | Disclaimer | Xhtml |