Autoimmune Disease

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Autoimmune Disease

Nowadays, autoimmune disease affects many people in the world and the incidence of autoimmune disease is on the rise. Autoimmune disease affects approximately 5-8% of the population in the United States. Autoimmune disease develops when dysfunction in the adaptive immune system leads the body to attack its own organs, tissues, and cells. The exact etiology of disease occurrence is unknown; however, it is thought that there are genetic, infectious and environmental factors that may induce the disease. A variety of multiple organ systems in the human body are affected, thereby causing a variety of different clinical symptoms. The presence of chronic systemic inflammation commonly characterizes a majority of autoimmune diseases.


To prevent these cells from attacking self-tissues, the immune system develops multiple tolerance mechanisms such as the aforementioned clonal deletion, antigen ignorance anergy induction, AICD and immune deviation. However, these mechanisms are not sufficient to prevent autoimmune diseases. Another level of control is provided by active regulations of immune responses through cellular interaction and soluble mediators. Evidence suggests that Treg cells may be an additional mechanism by which the autoimmune response is controlled.


It is estimated that 14.7 to 23.5 million people in the United States suffer from the 80 or more different types of autoimmune diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the prevalence of autoimmune disease is on the rise. This class of diseases is thought to carry a high cost burden because young middle-aged adults, especially women and minorities, are disproportionately affected. Also, the chronic and debilitating nature of these diseases can require intensive medical intervention, only adding to the cost of this class of diseases. The exact economic impact of the collective group of autoimmune diseases has yet to be quantified; however, attempts are being made to collect much needed data. It is difficult to recovery in any of the autoimmune diseases.


Common autoimmune diseases are followed: rheumatoid arthritis, celiac sprue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, pernicious anemia, Hashimoto’s disease and so on. Many of these diseases are involved with interleukins (IL) which can regulate many kinds of immune cells and affect immune system. IL proteins have been target molecules for autoimmune disease therapy in many researches.


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