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Autoimmunity. 2006 Feb;39(1):31-9.

Molecular mimicry in the autoimmune pathogenesis of rheumatic heart disease.

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1
Heart Institute-InCor, University of São Paulo, School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

Molecular mimicry is a hallmark of the pathogenesis of rheumatic fever where the streptococcal group A carbohydrate epitope, N-acetyl glucosamine, and the a-helical coiled-coil streptococcal M protein structurally mimic cardiac myosin in the human disease, rheumatic carditis, and in animal models immunized with streptococcal M protein and cardiac myosin. Recent studies have unraveled the potential pathogenic mechanisms by which the immune response against the group A streptococcus attacks the rheumatic valve leading to chronic rheumatic heart disease. Both B- and T-cell responses are involved in the process, and evidence for the hypotheses of molecular mimicry and epitope spreading are reviewed.

PMID:
16455580
DOI:
10.1080/08916930500484674
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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