Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity is the system of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease. More freshly it has become accepted that autoimmune responses are an integral part of vertebrate immune systems (occasionally termed "natural autoimmunity"), normally prevented from causing disease by the phenomenon of immunological tolerance to self-antigens.[citation needed] Autoimmunity should not be confused with alloimmunity. Second, autoimmunity may have a role in permitting a rapid immune response in the early stages of an infection when the obtainability of foreign antigens limits the response (i.e., when there are few pathogens present). The idea of autoimmunity is abstractly similar to play-fighting. The play-fighting of young cubs (TCR and self-MHC) may result in a few scratches or scars (low-level-autoimmunity), but is valuable in the long-term as it primes the young cub for proper fights in the future.

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