autoimmune disease

autoimmune disease

autoimmune disease, any of a number of abnormal conditions caused when the body produces antibodies to its own substances. In rheumatoid arthritis, a group of antibody molecules called collectively RF, or rheumatoid factor, is complexed to the individual's own gamma globulin blood proteins; the circulating complex apparently causes tissue inflammation and muscle and bone deformities. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland, antibodies are produced against the thyroid protein thyroglobulin. In some blood disorders, antibodies may be produced against the body's own red and white blood cells. Myasthenia gravis, a disease characterized by weakened muscles, is thought to have an autoimmune origin. In systemic lupus erythematosus it has been shown that individuals have antibodies to certain of their own body substances that for some reason are acting as antigens; these substances include the individual's own nucleic acids and cell organelles such as ribosomes and mitochondria. Lupus can cause dysfunction of many organs, including the heart, kidneys, and joints. Because lupus and certain diseases of probable autoimmune origin, e.g., scleroderma and dermatomyositis, affect collagen (connective tissue) throughout the body and blood vessels, they are referred to as collagen-vascular diseases. In rheumatic fever, the individual produces antibodies to antigens of streptococcal bacteria; it is believed that the streptococcal antigens are structurally similar to antigens of the heart and that antistreptococcal antibodies, combining with antigenic sites on the heart, damage the muscle and heart valves. Diseases of the immune system are currently treated by a variety of nonspecific immunosuppressive drugs and steroids.
Autoimmune diseases arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body attacks its own cells. Autoimmune diseases are a major cause of immune-mediated diseases.

Gender influence

Women tend to be affected more often by autoimmune disorders; nearly 79% of autoimmune disease patients in the USA are women. Also they tend to appear during or shortly after puberty. It is not known why this is the case, although hormone levels have been shown to affect the severity of some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Other causes may include the presence of fetal cells in the maternal bloodstream.

Autoimmune diseases

It is possible to classify autoimmune diseases by corresponding type of hypersensitivity: type II, type III, or type IV. (No type of autoimmune disease mimics type I hypersensitivity.)

Name Accepted/
Hypersensitivity Autoantibody
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Accepted
Addison's disease Accepted
Ankylosing spondylitis Accepted
Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) Accepted
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia Accepted II
Autoimmune hepatitis Accepted Anti-Smooth Muscle Actin
Autoimmune inner ear disease Suspected
Bullous pemphigoid Accepted II Anti-Bullous Pemphigoid Antigen 1 and 2 (Hemidesmosome antigens)
Coeliac disease Accepted IV Anti-transglutaminase
Chagas disease Suspected
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Suspected
Dermatomyositis Accepted
Diabetes mellitus type 1 Accepted IV
Endometriosis Suspected
Goodpasture's syndrome Accepted II Anti-Basment Membrane Collagen Type IV Protein
Graves' disease Accepted II
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) Accepted IV Anti-ganglioside
Hashimoto's disease Accepted IV
Hidradenitis suppurativa Suspected
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Accepted II
Interstitial cystitis Suspected
Lupus erythematosus Accepted III
Morphea Suspected
Multiple sclerosis Accepted IV Anti-Myelin Basic Protein
Myasthenia gravis Accepted II
Narcolepsy Suspected
Neuromyotonia Suspected
Pemphigus Vulgaris Accepted II Anti-Desmogein 3
Pernicious anaemia Accepted II
Polymyositis Accepted
Primary biliary cirrhosis Accepted Anti-p62, Anti-sp100, Anti-Mitochondrial(M2)
Rheumatoid arthritis Accepted III Rheumatoid factor
Schizophrenia Suspected
Scleroderma Suspected Anti-topoisomerase
Sjögren's syndrome Accepted
Temporal arteritis (also known as "giant cell arteritis") Accepted IV
Vasculitis Accepted III
Vitiligo Suspected
Wegener's granulomatosis Accepted Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic(cANCA)


External links

Search another word or see autoimmune diseaseon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature