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FASEB J. 1991 Aug;5(11):2560-6.

Tolerance and suppressor mechanisms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: implications for immunotherapy of human autoimmune diseases.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Recent advances in understanding antigen recognition at the level of the trimolecular complex have provided new approaches for selective immunotherapy. Many of these approaches have been applied successfully to the animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and some are being tested in the human disease multiple sclerosis. In addition, new approaches utilizing nonspecific modulation of immune function are being explored in animals and humans. Immunospecific therapy in autoimmune diseases will ultimately be based on understanding how the normal immune system maintains unresponsiveness to self and how this state of self-tolerance is broken. Strategies for specific immune intervention in human diseases based on components of the trimolecular complex will have to take into account the polymorphism of the major histocompatibility complex in humans and the degree of heterogeneity among autoimmune T cells that react with an autoantigen.

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