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The Role of Lymph Node Cells in Immune Tolerance

Sep 3, 2019 10:10:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Autoimmune Disorders, T Cells

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A recent study found the lymph node cells, much like the thymus, play a part in immune self-tolerance.

Nearly 5% of the U.S. population is affected with a devastating autoimmune disease, and this percentage is ever growing. Current treatments address organ inflammation or approach the autoimmunity with immunosuppression, which has serious and widespread side effects. In order to develop more specific and effective therapies, there must be a fuller understanding of the mechanisms by which self-tolerance develops. It is known that autoimmune diseases occur due to the immune system’s loss of tolerance to self-antigens. How and why this loss of tolerance occurs is associated with many factors, including genetic (and epigenetic), cellular, environmental, and more.

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Targeting T Cells to Treat IBD

Sep 4, 2018 10:05:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in autoimmune disease, Autoimmune Disorders, CD4+ T cells, Helper T Cells

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Recent research looks into the relationship between T helper cells and the autoimmune conditions of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caused by an immune dysfunction. People with IBD can experience diarrhea, rectal bleeding, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Dysregulated responses of a subset of CD4 T cells (T helper cells) are associated with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions and may induce and maintain intestinal inflammation, but the mechanism is not fully understood. The primary cytokine secreted by T helper cells of the intestinal mucosa of people with IBD is interferon (IFN)-gamma. Recent research was conducted to better understand the role of IFN-producing CD4 T cells in the initiation and maintenance of IBD.

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Factor Expressed on Regulatory T Cells Keeps Autoimmunity in Check

Nov 2, 2016 12:42:11 PM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in autoimmune disease, Autoimmune Disorders, autoimmune disorder treatment, CD4+ T cells, customizable cytotoxic T cells, Cytotoxic T Cells, research

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Autoimmune disorders develop when the body’s immune system does not distinguish between the body’s own cells and antigens. The destruction by the immune system of normal tissues is the basis of autoimmune diseases. The search for effective treatments or cures for autoimmune disorders depends on understanding the factors involved in immune cell function.

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