Immune system of your body becomes active to sense the external antigens. This is how the immune cells defend the internal mechanism of the body from the pathogens. The disease-causing germs or the pathogens or the foreign antigens are the omens. The term ‘immune tolerance’ indicates the lack of response of the immune mechanism to its own antigens. The autoimmunity is caused by the breakdown of immunity tolerance.
Immunity Tolerance Mechanism
Our inborn immunity offers an automatic immunity against the unknown antigens that possess uniform pathogenic characteristics. Consequently, every B and T cell has the adaptive immune mechanism for identifying an unknown antigen. Their enormous varieties endow the immunity to recognize various pathogens resulting in the production of ‘self-reaction lymphocytes’.
The eminent scientist and immunologist, Dr. Kanury Rao has dedicated his life for the betterment of humans. The two vital immunity tolerance mechanisms are:
- Central Tolerance
There are various levels of inspection to keep a check on the damage causing self-reactive lymphocytes. Central Tolerance is the first step to ensure such prevention. The major lymphoid organs such as thymus and bone marrow delete the Band T cells by the process of central tolerance.
An ideal example is the T lymphocytes that are developed in the thymus. These cells are in contact with self-antigens from assorted resources such as proteins from the thyroid gland and liver. Thus, they are familiar with the self-antigens.
Negative selection is a process of destroying the T cells that include receptors because the receptors retaliate with the self-antigens.
- Peripheral Tolerance
There are few self-reactive lymphocytes that manage to trespass the circulation and manage to get away with negative selection. As they take an entry in the circulation, they will start causing injury of the tissues until their destruction. Peripheral tissues are responsible for their suppression. Thus, it is the second step to defy autoimmunity.
The peripheral tolerance performs:
- Suppressing the self-reactive lymphocytes with the help of Tregs (Tregs are T cells featuring immunosuppressive capacities). Tregs have a key role in the protection of the foetus that is comprised of foreign antigens (paternal). It balances the immune tolerance of the mother and prevents immune attack.
- Induction (Extending unresponsive lymphocytes to the self-antigens)
- Eliminating the self-reactive lymphocytes through the physiological process of apoptosis
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Causes of Autoimmunity
Despite of the body’s strong tolerance mechanism, autoimmunity develops in many human beings. It is assumed that there are both environmental and genetic factors that led to such developments:
- Females are highly susceptible to autoimmune diseases. It is mostly observed in females who have attained the ability of childbearing because secretion of oestrogen may disturb the immunity.
- Any prevailing infection in the body triggers autoimmunity. Molecular mimicry is one such condition when the immune mechanism cannot distinguish between the pathogenic antigens and the self-antigens. Hence, it targets the self-antigens as well.
- The cause can also be genetic i.e., it can be hereditary. The HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) gene is responsible for the contribution of partial human disposition.
- In case of some autoimmune diseases, the Treg count can be low, or their functional capabilities can also be compromised.
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Attributes of Autoimmunity
This disease is known for affecting nearly 5% of the human population. As a result, more that eighty conditions are known to be developed, such as:
- Pernicious Anaemia
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Autoimmune Vascolitis
- Celiac Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis and many others
Each of this disease have their own individualities and exceptions. Still, they share some common features. They are:
- Responding positively to treatments associated with immunosuppression.
- Involvement of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)
- Ups and downs in inflammation and perturbing relaxations
- Distinguishable the level of autoantibody
- Females having the highest rate of sufferance
- Exhibiting symptoms in attaining the middle age or during the phase of young adulthood
The autoimmunity involves both non-organ and organ related conditions. It depends on whether the affected self-antigens are distributed across the body or exist in a particular tissue. For example: Type 1 diabetes takes a toll on pancreas. Since the exact cause of autoimmune diseases are unknown, researchers believe that it is the biological and the environmental factors responsible for it. The rising number of such disease is indeed a matter to be worried in the world of science.
Immunity system of our body is shield to the pathogens. However, there are certain conditions when this system is compromised. Such situations led to destruction of self-antigens along with pathogenic antigens resulting in the development of autoimmunity. However, Dr. Kanury Rao is analyzing the causes and preventions of these diseases.