Insights into Mechanisms of Autoimmune Disease Based on Clinical Findings

  • Noel R. Rose
Part of the Contemporary Immunology book series (CONTIM)


The first example of a human autoimmune disease, paroxysmal cold hemo-globinuria (PCH) described by Donath and Landsteiner in 1903 (1), still serves as a prototype for our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis in autoimmune disease. In PCH, the patient produces an antibody that binds his own red blood cells. At the time of its discovery, the specificity of this antibody was unknown. In more recent times, it was found that the PCH antibody is usually directed to a widely distributed alloantigen of the P bloodgroup system. It is remarkable that the target antigen is actually an alloantigen to which autoantibodies are produced under the special circumstances of this disease. In the field of immunohematology, alloantigens are often the targets of autoimmune responses.


Autoimmune Disease Major Histocompatibility Complex Hemolytic Anemia Autoimmune Response Autoimmune Thyroiditis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Noel R. Rose

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