987-Autoimmune Diseases

Course # DL-987: An Update On Autoimmune Diseases

by Paula J. D’Amore, Ph.D., D(AMBLI) - Assistant Professor, Division of Health Sciences - California State University, Dominguez Hills

Approved for 1.0 CE
Level of Difficulty: Basic


When the mechanisms of self tolerance fail to function, alterations in the immune system occur, resulting in an immune response to autoantigens. This is defined as autoimmunity, which includes the production of autoantibodies and autoreactive T cells. What are the contributing factors that lead to a failure in the immune system’s self tolerance mechanisms? It has been postulated that autoimmune diseases are multifactorial, suggesting that several factors appear to play a role in the breakdown or overriding of tolerance, resulting in the development of autoimmunity. The interaction between genetic susceptibility, gender, hormonal influence, and environmental triggers such as infections, chemicals, and smoking has been the primary focus of investigation.

After completing this course the participant will be able to:

  1. Define immune tolerance to self.
  2. Identify and describe the two major phases of self tolerance induction.
  3. Describe MHC and non-MHC genes linked to autoimmunity.
  4. Discuss the role of environmental triggers in the development of autoimmunity
  5. Discuss the emerging technologies being used to detect autoantibodies in clinical laboratories.


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