The immune response to mitochondrial autoantigens

Hiromi Ishibashi, Shinji Shimoda, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Similar to other autoimmune diseases, there are intense humoral and cellular responses to intracytoplasmic antigens in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). The autoantigens against antimitochondrial antibodies (AMAs) in PBC are located on the inner mitochondrial membrane and are identified as members of the 2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase complexes (2-OADCs), of which the E2 subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC-E2) is the major autoantigen; AMAs are present in approximately 90 to 95% of PBC sera. An orchestrated immune response against the intrahepatic biliary epithelial cell (BEC) through 2-OADC-specific CD4+ helper T cells and CD8+ CTL are thought to be the major players in the immunological destruction of BECs in PBC. We believe that a prior/ primary event of specific intrahepatic BEC malfunction (possibly caused by environmental insults such as xenobiotics and microorganisms) is responsible for the breaking of self-tolerance to 2-OADC and leads to BEC destruction. The generation of 2-OADC-specific T cells further accelerates the damage of BEC. In addition, immunoglobulin A AMAs may participate in the destruction of BECs by damaging mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Liver Disease
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2005

Keywords

  • 2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase complex
  • Antimitochondrial antigen
  • Biliary epithelial cell
  • CD4 helper T cell
  • Molecular mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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