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Neuere Aspekte zur Pathogenese endokriner Autoimmunerkrankungen des Menschen: Welche Rolle spielt die Expression von HLA Klasse-II-Molekülen durch die endokrine Zielzelle?

Current aspects in the pathogenesis of endocrine autoimmunity in man: The inappropriate expression of HLA class II molecules


The inappropriate expression of HLA Class II molecules by the target cells of endocrine autoimmune diseases is a recent observation that has been intensively studied in thyroid autoimmunity and type I diabetes mellitus. In vitro studies have shown that interferon-γ can induce Class II expression, either alone, as in thyrocytes, or in combination with other mediators like tumour necrosis factor or lymphotoxin, as in islet cells, pointing to possible mechanisms operating in vivo. Endocrine cells expressing Class II molecules are able to present their autoantigens to helper T cells, thus possibly inducing the autoimmune process. However, until now it is still unclear if the expression of Class II molecules by the target cells is the primary immune phenomenon, which might possibly be triggered by a latent viral infection of the endocrine cell. Alternatively, it might be a secondary response in an ongoing autoimmune process. Particularly data obtained in the diabetic pancreas favour the first possibility, but only progress in our understanding of the role of HLA antigens in immunoregulation will make it possible to interpret the phenomenon properly.

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MHC des Menschen


antigenpräsentierende Zelle








Tumor Necrosis Faktor


Diabetes mellitus Typ I


relatives Risiko


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Herrn Prof. Dr. med. W. Kaufmann zum 65. Geburtstag gewidmet

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Deuß, U., Buscema, M., Bottazzo, G.F. et al. Neuere Aspekte zur Pathogenese endokriner Autoimmunerkrankungen des Menschen: Welche Rolle spielt die Expression von HLA Klasse-II-Molekülen durch die endokrine Zielzelle?. Klin Wochenschr 67, 1117–1125 (1989).

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Key words

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus type I
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • HLA-D antigens
  • Immune response