2 Autoimmunity Origins Horror autotoxicus: Literally, the horror of self-toxicity. A term coined by the German immunologist Paul Ehrlich ( ) to describe the body's innate aversion to immunological selfdestruction.
3 History Continued This concept of autoimmunity as the cause of human illness is relatively new, and it was not accepted into the mainstream of medical thinking until the 1950s and 1960s.
4 What is autoimmunity? When the immune system is activated by self-antigens When the immune system no longer recognizes itself Generally is prevented by self-tolerance, where selfreactive antigens are eliminated But, the body cannot eliminate all self-reactive antigens because some help protect against foreign antigens! This means that everyone has some self-reactive antigens, only, they have not activated our antibodies yet
5 What is autoimmunity? When body mounts immune response against self, it is impossible for immune mechanism to eliminate antigen completely Result: a sustained response, chronic inflammation, tissue damage and sometimes death!
6 Autoimmunity defines a state in which unresponsiveness to self terminates, leading to specific adaptive immune responses against self. Since self tolerance is somatically acquired, it is subject to failure particularly with the complexity of the issue. A remarkable number of autoreactive T and B cell clones are present in the healthy immune repertoire.
7 Autoimmunity is not necessarily a sign of disease and it has become apparent that autoimmune responses are not as rare as once thought. In fact, current argument emphasizes that certain autoimmune responses are essential for the normal functioning and diversification of the immune response (CD-MHC, Id-anti-Id). Autoimmune diseases are not rare or exotic; autoimmune diseases and their sequelae occur with surprising frequency.
8 Normal Autoimmunity Autoimmunity is an inherent property of the normal immune system Autoimmune diseases must be distinguished from the many instances of nonpathologic self recognition by the immune system. Autoimmunity is unlikely to reflect the failure of the main mechanisms of tolerance.
9 Low titer, low affinity autoantibodies can be readily detected in the sera of normal individuals. Natural autoantibodies which are found in humans of all age groups, have a wide range of specificities They can bind to intracellular constituents, membrane proteins, serum proteins, and polypeptide hormones.
10 Natural autoantibodies are produced by B1 (CD5 + ) cells regardless of antigen exposure. They are IgM of low affinity and extensive cross-reactivity. Activities include; binding to bacteria followed by activation of complement, cross reactivity with blood group antigens, and binding to normal cellular components.
11 Natural autoantibodies may have a physiologic role such as elimination of degraded autoantigens, antigen presentation and prevention of autoimmune disease. The demonstration of autoimmunity as a cause of disease is difficult and requires the replication of disease manifestations by transfer of antibody or T-lymphocytes. An Experiment of nature is neonatal myasthenia gravis due to transplacental transfer of autoantibodies.
12 Significance of Autoimmune Diseases 5 % to 7% of adults are affected. Two thirds are women. More than 40 human diseases are autoimmune in origin.
13 Significance of Autoimmune Diseases They should be distinguished from diseases accompanied by an immune reaction not triggered by self antigens Understanding of autoimmunity has greatly improved with the development of animal models and the identification of predisposing genes Nevertheless, the etiology of most human autoimmune diseases remains obscure
14 Pathogenesis of autoimmunity Susceptibility genes Environmental trigger (e.g. infections, tissue injury) Failure of self-tolerance Persistence of functional self-reactive lymphocytes Activation of self-reactive lymphocytes Immune responses against self tissues
15 Mechanisms Failure of Tolerance Induction Break down of peripheral Tolerance (Defects in CTLA-4, Defects in Fas or Fas ligands, Excess IL-2) Release of sequestered antigens Neoantigens: not truly self, modified self, denatured antigens, and antigens of transformed cells Epitope (Determinant) spreading: anti-myelin in MS Cryptic epitopes: exposed by conformational changes (IgM anti- IgG in rheumatoid arthritis)
16 Molecular Mimicry - Rheumatic fever: Streptococcal M protein and antigens on sarcolemmal membrane and valves - IDDM: Coxsackie and CMV antigens with GAD on β cells of the pancreas - Ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis: HLA-B27 with Klebsiella and Yersinea T helper 1 T helper 2 imbalance and cytokine milieu Polyclonal Activation (Superantigens bind TCR Vß chain)
17 Rheumatic fever is a classic example of molecular mimicry
18 Release of sequestered Ag Smoking can trigger Good pasture's syndrome Alveolar basement membrane normally not exposed to the immune system Smoking damages alveoli, exposes collagen Anti-collagen Ab damages lung and kidney Anti-sperm Ab produced in some men after vasectomy Injection of myelin basic protein (MBP) produces MSlike EAE in mice May be triggered by injury or infection
19 Immune stimulation Inflammation and secretion of IFN-ɤ which upregulates MHC II Inappropriate MHC II expression e.g., on thyroid cells Activation of T and B responses to self Ag self Ag on MHC I; or MHC II Microbial infection stimulates APCs carrying self Ag High level of APCs with second signal breaks anergy
20 Induction of MHC class II expression facilitates autoimmunity
21 Grave s Disease Production of thyroid hormones is regulated by TSH The binding of TSH to a receptor on thyroid cells activates the synthesis of two thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine A person with Grave s Disease makes auto-antibodies to the receptor for TSH. The binding of these autoantibodies to the receptor mimics the normal action of TSH, without the regulation, leading to overstimulation of the thyroid The auto-antibodies are called long-acting thyroid stimulating hormones 21
22 What causes Autoimmunity? Defect in Fas and Fas ligand Activation of T cells Fas(CD95) Fas ligand Apoptosis (cell-death)
23 ALPS Mutations in Fas or Fas ligand genes in humans leads to development of Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS). Patients with ALPS have chronic, nonmalignant lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly of childhood onset and an increased risk of B-cell lymphomas, autoimmune complications, increased numbers of normally rare α/β TCR+ CD3+CD4-CD8- or "double negative T cells"
24 Multiple sclerosis One of the few autoimmune diseases caused by T cells. Abs are produced but their role is controversial. Mediated by Th17 cells.
25 Role of IL-17 in autoimmunity Unique T cells that produce IL-17 have been discovered that are distinct from Th1 and Th2 subsets. Such cells are called Th17 cells. Th1 cells differentiate in the presence of IL- 12 and Th2 cells use IL-4. Th17 cells differentiate in the presence of TGF-beta and IL-6. Mice deficient in IL-17 do not develop EAE.
26 Ab against intrinsic factor Pernicious Anemia
27 Characteristics of Autoimmune Diseases 1) Systemic (Ab) or organ-specific (T Cells) 2) Variable course 3) Female preponderance 4) Overlapping manifestations 5) Immunosuppression 6) Diverse immunopathology 7) Constant antigens 8) Genetic susceptibility 9) Role of environmental factors
28 Factors Affecting Autoimmunity Familial studies suggest clear association between genetics and autoimmune disease Also found to be more prevalent in women However, studies between identical twins show that despite identical genetic background, cellular processes and environment also play a role
29 AUTOIMMUNITY & LEFT-HANDEDNESS LEFT handed individuals more affected. 11% of left handed & 4% of right handed. Reasons for this are obscure. left-handedness & immune malfunction may both result from abnormal endocrine function in fetal life.
30 Examples of Organ-specific autoimmune Diseases Thyroid gland - Grave s disease - autoantibodies against TSH receptor - Hashimoto s disease (thyroiditis) - autoantibodies against thyroglobulin Pancreas: Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) Adrenal gland - Addison s disease (Hypoadrenocorticism): - Reduced production of glucocorticoids and/or mineralocorticoids as the result of atrophy of the adrenal gland. - Serum from humans suffering from Addison s disease may contain auto-antibodies against adrenal cortex cells and the enzymes involved in steroid hormone metabolism.
31 SLE as an Example of Non organspecific autoimmune Diseases Prototypic systemic autoimmune disease. Multiple autoimmune manifestations and generally high titer anti-nuclear antibody (seronegative cases have been described). Human SLE is more prevalent in females (oestrogens appear to aggravate the condition as does the hyperprolactinaemia of lactation). The clinical presentation of SLE involves polyarthritis, mucocutaneous lesions, proteinuria and anaemia/thrombocytopaenia.
32 Autoantidodies against common components of human cells can cause systemic autoimmune disease
33 Most rheumatological diseases are caused by autoimmunity
34 Female: Male Ratios in Some Autoimmune Diseases - Multiple sclerosis 2:1 - Myasthenia gravis 2:1 - Diabetes 2:1 - Rheumatoid arthritis 4:1 - Graves disese 7:1 - SLE 9:1 - Hashimoto s disease 50:1
35 Sex differences in autoimmunity
36 Immunopathologic Mechanisms Tissue destruction: in diabetes; CTLs destroy insulin-producing B-cells in pancreas Antibodies block normal function: in myasthenia gravis; Ab binds acetylcholine receptors Antibodies stimulate inappropriate function: in Graves disease; Ab binds TSH receptor, mimics thyroid-stimulating hormone and activates unregulated thyroid hormone production Antigen-antibody complexes affect function: in Rheumatoid arthritis; IgM specific for Fc portion of IgG and IgM-IgG complexes deposited in joints leading to inflammation
37 Genes and Autoimmunity The concept that a single gene mutation leads to a single autoimmune disease is the EXCEPTION not the rule. Because of this autoimmune diseases are generally classified as complex diseases as there is not a single pinpoint-able gene
38 Exceptions to the Rule Simple Genetic Autoimmune Illnesses Disease Gene Mechanism APS-1 (Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1) IPEX (Immunodysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked) ALPS (autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome ) Autoimmune regulator (AIRE) FOXP3 FAS, FASL Decreased expression of self-antigens in the thymus, resulting is a defect in negative selection Decreased generation of Tregs Failure of apoptotic death of self reactive T or B cells
39 Genetics of autoimmunity Human autoimmune diseases are complex polygenic traits Identified by genome-wide association mapping Single gene mutations are useful for pathway analysis Some polymorphisms are associated with multiple diseases May control general mechanisms of tolerance and immune regulation Other genetic associations are disease-specific May influence end-organ damage
40 HLA is the dominant genetic factor affecting susceptibility to autoimmune disease
41 HLA Association and Autoimmune Diseases HLA-B8: Myasthenia gravis HLA-B27: Ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's disease, acute uveitis HLA-Cw6: Psoriasis HLA-DR2: Goodpastures syndrome, MS HLA-DR3: Graves disease, MS, SLE, IDDM, Addison s disease HLA-DR4: IDDM, Pemphigus vulgaris, Rheumatoid arthritis HLA-DR5: Hashimotos thyroiditis
42 Associations of HLA genotype with susceptibility to autoimmune disease Disease HLA allele Relative risk M/F Ankylosing spondylitis B Acute anterior uveitis B <0.5 Good Pasteur's syndrome DR ~1 Multiple sclerosis DR Graves disease DR Myasthenia gravis DR3 2.5 ~1 Systemic lupus erythematosus DR Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus DR3 & DR4 DQ ~1 Rheumatoid arthritis DR Pemphigus vulgaris DR ~1 Hashimoto s thyroiditis DR
43 Population studies of HLA alleles in insulin-independent diabetes mellitus Prevalence of diabetes DR3+DR4 Dr3 or DR4 +any allele EXCEPT DR2 DR3 or DR4 +DR2 DR2+DR2 Dr2 +any allele EXCEPT Dr2, DR3, DR4
46 Several ways in which infectious agents could break self tolerance
47 Treatment of Autoimmunity Immunosuppressive drugs Corticosteroids, Azathioprine Cyclosporine A Anti-inflammatory Oral administration of myelin purified from cow brains--to treat MS. Transfer of regulatory T cells.
48 Immunotherapy of autoimmune disease Use of Regulatory T cells Isolate lymphocytes from blood lymphocytes +IL-2 Purify regulatory T cells (Foxp3+)
49 Treatment of MS Th APC MBP V 17 & 5 Th + C Ab against V 17& 5 In MS, most T cells that respond to MBP use V 17 and V 5, TCR. Thus Abs against such T cells are being tested.
50 Treatment of Autoimmunity Use of beta-interferon to treat MS blocks HLA expression. Use of Abs against TNF--->suppresses arthritis pain for 5-10 weeks. Use of Abs against adhesion molecules---> VLA-4, ICAM-1, etc. Use of Abs against CD4 Th.
51 Summary of Autoimmunity Cause: Multiple genetic, environmental, nutrition, infections, etc Breakdown in self-tolerance. Organ specific or Systemic. Majority are caused by autoab production Treatment: Immunosuppressive drugs, Abs against TCR, cytokines, adhesion molecules, etc.
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