A New Look at MHC and Autoimmune Disease

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Science  30 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5415, pp. 749-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5415.749

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Individuals with autoimmune diseases show a preponderance of certain types of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. It has usually been assumed that this is because these MHC molecules bind the autoantigens associated with the disease more efficiently than they bind other antigens. In their Perspective, Ridgway et al. propose another explanation for this association-these MHC molecules are poor at screening out the autoantigens when the immune system is first defined in the thymus.