Autoimmune Disease


The term autoimmunity describes the inappropriate reaction of the immune system against one or more of the organism's own tissues. It does not necessarily imply any tissue damage or dysfunction. When there is tissue infiltration, damage and/or dysfunction, the condition is termed autoimmune disease.

Keywords: autoimmunity; organ‐specific; non‐organ specific

Further Reading

Gill RG and Haskins K (1993) Molecular mechanisms underlying diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Immunology Today 14(2): 49–51.

Iwatani Y, Amino N and Miyai K (1989) Peripheral self‐tolerance and autoimmunity: the protective role of expression of class II histocompatibility antigens on non‐lymphoid cells. Biomedicine Pharmacotherapy 43: 593–605.

Nepom GT and Erlich H (1991) MHC class II molecules and autoimmunity. Annual Review of Immunology 9: 493–525.

Ott J (1996) Analysis of Human Genetic Linkage. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Shoenfeld Y and Peters JB (1996) Autoantibodies. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Theofilopoulos AN (1995) The basis of autoimmunity. Immunology Today 16: 90–98 (Part I), 150–159 (Part II).

Tomer Y, Barbesino G, Greenberg D and Davies TF (1997) The immunogenetics of autoimmune diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 8: 63–70.

Volpé R (1999) Autoimmune Endocrinopathies. Contemporary Endocrinology Series. New Jersey: Totowa, Humana Press.

Weber JL (1990) Human DNA polymorphisms based on length variations in single sequence tandem repeats. Genome Analysis 1: 159–181.

Zouali M, Kalsi J and Isenberg D (1993) Autoimmune diseases – at the molecular level. Immunology Today 14(10): 473–476.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Volpé, Robert(Apr 2001) Autoimmune Disease. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001282]