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PLoS One. 2009 Dec 31;4(12):e8382. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008382.

Self-organized criticality theory of autoimmunity.

Author information

1
Department of Biophysics, Kobe University Graduate School of Health Science, Kobe, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The cause of autoimmunity, which is unknown, is investigated from a different angle, i.e., the defect in immune 'system', to explain the cause of autoimmunity.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Repeated immunization with antigen causes systemic autoimmunity in mice otherwise not prone to spontaneous autoimmune diseases. Overstimulation of CD4(+) T cells led to the development of autoantibody-inducing CD4(+) T (aiCD4(+) T) cell which had undergone T cell receptor (TCR) revision and was capable of inducing autoantibodies. The aiCD4(+) T cell was induced by de novo TCR revision but not by cross-reaction, and subsequently overstimulated CD8(+) T cells, driving them to become antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). These CTLs could be further matured by antigen cross-presentation, after which they caused autoimmune tissue injury akin to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune 'system' by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality.

PMID:
20046868
PMCID:
PMC2795160
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0008382
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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