Corticosterone and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in autoimmune diseases

  • Francisco Ramírez
  • Don Mason


Antigen-specific immune responses, which have evolved to protect the mammalian host from disease-causing organisms, are elicited when lymphocytes recognize pathogen-derived antigens and receive simultaneously the appropriate co-stimuli from the antigen-presenting cell. Following the initial triggering steps the immune system can activate a variety of effector mechanisms to eliminate or control the pathogenic organisms that produce the antigens in question. The activation and the development of effector mechanisms are complex events which require the participation of many components of the immune system. As many of the biological parameters are susceptible to genetic variation, it is not surprising that inbred strains of laboratory animals differ strikingly in the way that they respond to various antigens. The differences concern two aspects of immunity.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Myelin Basic Protein Spontaneous Recovery 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1997

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  • Francisco Ramírez
  • Don Mason

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