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Carol Eustice

Self-attacking Immune Cells Turned Off in Healthy People; Turned On in Rheumatoid Arthritis

By January 2, 2009

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Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are autoimmune diseases -- conditions associated with self-attacking immune cells. According to a report in the December 22, 2008 edition of Journal of Experimental Medicine, healthy people also have the cells but they are kept in an "off state". Why are the cells kept off in some people and turned on in others?

Here's what researchers believe happens. Antibody-producing B cells develop in the bone marrow. The body tests the cells to determine if their antigen receptors might confuse self tissues for foreign invaders. If confusion might occur a process called "receptor editing" occurs whereby receptors are rearranged to produce non-autoreactive versions or they are just killed off in the bone marrow.

But a small number slip out of the bone marrow into the body as mature B cells and they may play a role in the self attack. In mice, researchers found that escaped cells were stopped in an inactive state. In humans, researchers believe the escaped cells may not cause problems in healthy people but may be the precursors for self-attacking B cells in people with autoimmune diseases -- possibly because they cannot maintain the inactive status.

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Comments
January 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm
(1) Jo says:

Medical researchers have known for over 50 years that RA has an infectious cause. Dr Brown described mycoplasma and how it acts in the early 1940′s.
The body is not attacking itself, it’s attacking the cells that these terrorist bacteria are hiding and growing in.
A simple cure exists using Minocycline – though if not treated early it can take years.
The problem is that there isn’t enough money in this treatment which has a remission rate of 70%, so the cure is hidden in favor of expensive, dangerous drugs. Websites like this that do nothing more than front the misinformation passed out by medical boards such as the one in Conneticutt now under investigation for it’s financial interests in the pharmacueticals they push, do a great dis service to the American Public and much harm to those foolish enough to trust you.

January 7, 2009 at 1:28 am
(2) Carol says:

We report information that has been backed by valid scientific studies. Have you seen the section on Minocycline on this website? It’s at http://arthritis.about.com/od/minocin/

We cover the topic of minocycline. And continue to cover other new research or new treatments for arthritis.

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