The subject of autoimmunity brings into focus one of the central issues in immunology: How does an individual organism distinguish self from nonself? The molecules of which human “self” is constructed are qualitatively the same as those used in the construction of any other biological organism, including those that could seriously damage the host. Yet clearly the immune system must be able to make this distinction, or else it could very well self-destruct. Paul Ehrlich recognized this conundrum in the early years of immunology in his formulation of the concept of horror autotoxicus (Ehrlich and Morgenroth, 1901).
KeywordsHepatitis Ischemia Fractionation Cardiomyopathy Prednisone
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