What is an autoantibody?

Sabine Oertelt, Pietro Invernizzi, Mauro Podda, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Since autoantibody's initial description in association with autoimmune disease, it has been defined as an aberration of an essentially physiological and protective process, representing immunoglobulins reacting against self-molecules. Although contradicting the historically postulated mechanisms of immune tolerance, especially when directed against ontogenically conserved molecules, their detection in virtually all autoimmune diseases has established an undisputed diagnostic value. Nonetheless, the essence of their generation and perpetuation remains obscure, as their potential role in disease initiation maintaining exciting areas for future research. Finally, it is noted that there are considerably more autoantibodies than there are autoimmune diseases. The recognition that self-reactivity may not be synonymous of disease is an important concept that likewise requires further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAutoantibodies
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780444527639
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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