Possible trigger for autoimmune diseases discovered

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Immune cells must learn not to attack the body itself. A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) has discovered a previously unknown mechanism behind this: other immune cells, the B cells, contribute to the “training” of the T cells in the thymus gland. If this process fails, autoimmune diseases can develop.

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A. M. Afzali, L. Nirschl, C. Sie, M. Pfaller, O. Ulianov, T. Hassler, C. Federle, E. Petrozziello, S. R. Kalluri, H. H. Chen, S. Tyystjärvi, A. Muschaweckh, K. Lammens, C. Delbridge,, A. Büttner, K. Steiger, G. Seyhan, O. P. Ottersen, R. Öllinger, R. Rad, S. Jarosch, A. Straub, A. Mühlbauer, S. Grassmann, B.,, J. P. Böttcher, I. Wagner, M. Kreutzfeldt, D. Merkler, I. Bonafonte Pardàs, M. Schmidt Supprian, V. R. Buchholz, S. Heink, D. H. Busch, L. Klein & T. Korn. “B cells orchestrate tolerance to the neuromyelitis optica autoantigen AQP4”. Nature (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-024-07079-8.