Autoantibodies - Definition

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Definition


Autoantibodies are antibodies in the blood that fight against the body's own cells. Normally, antibodies play a role against pathogens. However, in case of malfunction, autoantibodies may appear and react with antigens contained in tissues or organs of the body: this is autoimmunity. There exists in every individual a normal autoimmunity part called physiological, which serves to maintain the balance of the immune system. However, certain diseases labeled autoimmune are responsible for a pathological autoimmunity; some notable examples are Hashimoto's thyroiditis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

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