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Immunologic Research

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Immunologic states of autoimmune diseases

  • Toru Abo
  • Toshihiko Kawamura
  • Hisami Watanabe
Article

Abstract

The etiology and immunologic states of autoimmune diseases have mainly been discussed without consideration of extrathymic T cells, which exist in the liver, intestine, and excretion glands. Because extrathymic T cells are autoreactive and are often simultaneously activated along with autoantibody-producing B-1 cells, these extrathymic T cells and B-1 cells should be introduced when considering the immunologic states of autoimmune diseases. The immunologic states of autoimmune diseases resemble those of aging, chronic GVH disease, and malarial infection. Namely, under all these conditions, conventional T and B cells are rather suppressed concomitant with thymic atrophy or involution. In contrast, extrathymic T cells and B-1 cells are inversely activated at this time. These facts suggest that the immunologic states of autoimmune diseases should be revaluated by introducing the concept of extrathymic T cells and autoantibody-producing B-1 cells, which might be primordial lymphocytes in phylogeny.

Key Words

Autoimmune disease Extrathymic T cells Autoreactivity B-1 cells Immunosuppression 

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Center of Molecular BiosciencesUniversity of RyukyusOkinawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of ImmunologyNiigata University School of MedicineNiigataJapan

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