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In Defense of SelfHow the Immune System Really Works$
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William R. Clark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336634.001.0001

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Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity

Chapter:
(p.177) 12 Autoimmunity
Source:
In Defense of Self
Author(s):

William R. Clark

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336634.003.0012

How does the immune system know what is self and what is foreign? The molecules of which human “self” is made are basically the same as those used in the construction of any other biological organism, including pathogenic microbes. This touches on the important issue of immune tolerance. Breakage of self-tolerance results in autoimmune disease. This chapter looks at a number of human autoimmune diseases, how they originate, how they are treated now, and promising directions for treatment in the future.

Keywords:   tolerance, diabetes, lupus, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis

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