What is an Autoantibody
An autoantibody is an antibody that reacts
against the patient's own body. Normally antibodies attack foreign invaders
(antigens). There are several mechanisms that may lead to the making of
autoantibodies. For example, antibodies made against certain streptococcal
bacteria during infection may react with heart tissue. This causes rheumatic
heart disease. Another mechanism is that normal body proteins may be changed to
antigens by chemicals, infection, or drugs.
Further definition of autoantibody
One or more autoantibodies may be produced by a person’s immune system when it fails to distinguish between “self” and “non-self" proteins. Usually the immune system is able to discriminate by recognizing foreign substances (“non-self”) and ignoring the body’s own cells ("self"), yet not overreact to non-threatening substances such as foods, dust and pollen, or beneficial microorganisms. It creates antibodies only when it perceives what it has been exposed to as a threat ("non-self"). When the immune system ceases to recognize one or more of the body’s normal constituents as “self”, it may produce autoantibodies that attack its own cells, tissues, and/or organs, causing inflammation and damage. The causes of this inappropriate action are varied and are not well understood, often resulting in a chronic autoimmune disorder.
This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.
Arthritis-Symptom.com is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.