Complexities in the Treatment of Autoimmune Disease

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Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 2037-2038
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.2037


Excitement has been high in the immunological community, as animal and human studies have suggested that autoimmune diseases can be prevented or inhibited by treatment with the offending endogenous antigen. But two cautionary reports in Science (p. 2054 and p. 1707) indicate that under some circumstances oral or parental treatment with antigen can exacerbate the autoimmune attack. In his Perspective, McFarland summarizes these new results and explains the great complexity of the immune system that they imply.