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Nature. 2005 Jun 2;435(7042):590-7.

Cellular and genetic mechanisms of self tolerance and autoimmunity.

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  • 1John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra ACT 2601


The mammalian immune system has an extraordinary potential for making receptors that sense and neutralize any chemical entity entering the body. Inevitably, some of these receptors recognize components of our own body, and so cellular mechanisms have evolved to control the activity of these 'forbidden' receptors and achieve immunological self tolerance. Many of the genes and proteins involved are conserved between humans and other mammals. This provides the bridge between clinical studies and mechanisms defined in experimental animals to understand how sets of gene products coordinate self-tolerance mechanisms and how defects in these controls lead to autoimmune disease.

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