Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Autoantigens: Endogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with AUTOANTIBODIES and cause an immune response.Antibodies, Antinuclear: Autoantibodies directed against various nuclear antigens including DNA, RNA, histones, acidic nuclear proteins, or complexes of these molecular elements. Antinuclear antibodies are found in systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.Autoimmune Diseases: Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Autoimmunity: Process whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues. Autoimmunity may produce or be caused by AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.Antibody Specificity: The property of antibodies which enables them to react with some ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS and not with others. Specificity is dependent on chemical composition, physical forces, and molecular structure at the binding site.Pemphigus: Group of chronic blistering diseases characterized histologically by ACANTHOLYSIS and blister formation within the EPIDERMIS.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Insulin Antibodies: Antibodies specific to INSULIN.Glutamate Decarboxylase: A pyridoxal-phosphate protein that catalyzes the alpha-decarboxylation of L-glutamic acid to form gamma-aminobutyric acid and carbon dioxide. The enzyme is found in bacteria and in invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. It is the rate-limiting enzyme in determining GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID levels in normal nervous tissues. The brain enzyme also acts on L-cysteate, L-cysteine sulfinate, and L-aspartate. EC 4.1.1.15.Mice, Inbred NZBPemphigoid, Bullous: A chronic and relatively benign subepidermal blistering disease usually of the elderly and without histopathologic acantholysis.Scleroderma, Systemic: A chronic multi-system disorder of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. It is characterized by SCLEROSIS in the SKIN, the LUNGS, the HEART, the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT, the KIDNEYS, and the MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM. Other important features include diseased small BLOOD VESSELS and AUTOANTIBODIES. The disorder is named for its most prominent feature (hard skin), and classified into subsets by the extent of skin thickening: LIMITED SCLERODERMA and DIFFUSE SCLERODERMA.Desmoglein 3: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Sjogren's Syndrome: Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which the salivary and lacrimal glands undergo progressive destruction by lymphocytes and plasma cells resulting in decreased production of saliva and tears. The primary form, often called sicca syndrome, involves both KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA and XEROSTOMIA. The secondary form includes, in addition, the presence of a connective tissue disease, usually rheumatoid arthritis.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.Lupus Vulgaris: A form of cutaneous tuberculosis. It is seen predominantly in women and typically involves the NASAL MUCOSA; BUCCAL MUCOSA; and conjunctival mucosa.Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune: Acquired hemolytic anemia due to the presence of AUTOANTIBODIES which agglutinate or lyse the patient's own RED BLOOD CELLS.Lupus Nephritis: Glomerulonephritis associated with autoimmune disease SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Lupus nephritis is histologically classified into 6 classes: class I - normal glomeruli, class II - pure mesangial alterations, class III - focal segmental glomerulonephritis, class IV - diffuse glomerulonephritis, class V - diffuse membranous glomerulonephritis, and class VI - advanced sclerosing glomerulonephritis (The World Health Organization classification 1982).RNA, Small Cytoplasmic: Small RNAs found in the cytoplasm usually complexed with proteins in scRNPs (RIBONUCLEOPROTEINS, SMALL CYTOPLASMIC).snRNP Core Proteins: The protein components that constitute the common core of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles. These proteins are commonly referred as Sm nuclear antigens due to their antigenic nature.ThyroglobulinMyositis: Inflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Non-Fibrillar Collagens: A family of structurally-related short-chain collagens that do not form large fibril bundles.Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 8: A subclass of receptor-like protein tryosine phosphatases that contain an extracellular RDGS-adhesion recognition motif and a single cytosolic protein tyrosine phosphate domain.Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1: A subtype of DIABETES MELLITUS that is characterized by INSULIN deficiency. It is manifested by the sudden onset of severe HYPERGLYCEMIA, rapid progression to DIABETIC KETOACIDOSIS, and DEATH unless treated with insulin. The disease may occur at any age, but is most common in childhood or adolescence.B-Lymphocytes: Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation.Mice, Inbred MRL lpr: A mouse substrain that is genetically predisposed to the development of systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, which has been found to be clinically similar to the human disease. It has been determined that this mouse strain carries a mutation in the fas gene. Also, the MRL/lpr is a useful model to study behavioral and cognitive deficits found in autoimmune diseases and the efficacy of immunosuppressive agents.Thyroiditis, Autoimmune: Inflammatory disease of the THYROID GLAND due to autoimmune responses leading to lymphocytic infiltration of the gland. It is characterized by the presence of circulating thyroid antigen-specific T-CELLS and thyroid AUTOANTIBODIES. The clinical signs can range from HYPOTHYROIDISM to THYROTOXICOSIS depending on the type of autoimmune thyroiditis.Desmoglein 1: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS FOLIACEUS.Ribonucleoproteins: Complexes of RNA-binding proteins with ribonucleic acids (RNA).Dermatomyositis: A subacute or chronic inflammatory disease of muscle and skin, marked by proximal muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash. The illness occurs with approximately equal frequency in children and adults. The skin lesions usually take the form of a purplish rash (or less often an exfoliative dermatitis) involving the nose, cheeks, forehead, upper trunk, and arms. The disease is associated with a complement mediated intramuscular microangiopathy, leading to loss of capillaries, muscle ischemia, muscle-fiber necrosis, and perifascicular atrophy. The childhood form of this disease tends to evolve into a systemic vasculitis. Dermatomyositis may occur in association with malignant neoplasms. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1405-6)Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic: Autoantibodies directed against cytoplasmic constituents of POLYMORPHONUCLEAR LEUKOCYTES and/or MONOCYTES. They are used as specific markers for GRANULOMATOSIS WITH POLYANGIITIS and other diseases, though their pathophysiological role is not clear. ANCA are routinely detected by indirect immunofluorescence with three different patterns: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic), p-ANCA (perinuclear), and atypical ANCA.Epitope Mapping: Methods used for studying the interactions of antibodies with specific regions of protein antigens. Important applications of epitope mapping are found within the area of immunochemistry.Paraneoplastic Syndromes: In patients with neoplastic diseases a wide variety of clinical pictures which are indirect and usually remote effects produced by tumor cell metabolites or other products.Coombs Test: A test to detect non-agglutinating ANTIBODIES against ERYTHROCYTES by use of anti-antibodies (the Coombs' reagent.) The direct test is applied to freshly drawn blood to detect antibody bound to circulating red cells. The indirect test is applied to serum to detect the presence of antibodies that can bind to red blood cells.Iodide Peroxidase: A hemeprotein that catalyzes the oxidation of the iodide radical to iodine with the subsequent iodination of many organic compounds, particularly proteins. EC 1.11.1.8.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Binding Sites, Antibody: Local surface sites on antibodies which react with antigen determinant sites on antigens (EPITOPES.) They are formed from parts of the variable regions of FAB FRAGMENTS.Arthritis, Rheumatoid: A chronic systemic disease, primarily of the joints, marked by inflammatory changes in the synovial membranes and articular structures, widespread fibrinoid degeneration of the collagen fibers in mesenchymal tissues, and by atrophy and rarefaction of bony structures. Etiology is unknown, but autoimmune mechanisms have been implicated.Antigen-Antibody Reactions: The processes triggered by interactions of ANTIBODIES with their ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Cross Reactions: Serological reactions in which an antiserum against one antigen reacts with a non-identical but closely related antigen.Graves Disease: A common form of hyperthyroidism with a diffuse hyperplastic GOITER. It is an autoimmune disorder that produces antibodies against the THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE RECEPTOR. These autoantibodies activate the TSH receptor, thereby stimulating the THYROID GLAND and hypersecretion of THYROID HORMONES. These autoantibodies can also affect the eyes (GRAVES OPHTHALMOPATHY) and the skin (Graves dermopathy).Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic: Antibodies which react with the individual structural determinants (idiotopes) on the variable region of other antibodies.Immunoglobulin Idiotypes: Unique genetically-controlled determinants present on ANTIBODIES whose specificity is limited to a single group of proteins (e.g., another antibody molecule or an individual myeloma protein). The idiotype appears to represent the antigenicity of the antigen-binding site of the antibody and to be genetically codetermined with it. The idiotypic determinants have been precisely located to the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGION of both immunoglobin polypeptide chains.Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear: Highly conserved nuclear RNA-protein complexes that function in RNA processing in the nucleus, including pre-mRNA splicing and pre-mRNA 3'-end processing in the nucleoplasm, and pre-rRNA processing in the nucleolus (see RIBONUCLEOPROTEINS, SMALL NUCLEOLAR).Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune: Autoimmune diseases affecting multiple endocrine organs. Type I is characterized by childhood onset and chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CANDIDIASIS, CHRONIC MUCOCUTANEOUS), while type II exhibits any combination of adrenal insufficiency (ADDISON'S DISEASE), lymphocytic thyroiditis (THYROIDITIS, AUTOIMMUNE;), HYPOPARATHYROIDISM; and gonadal failure. In both types organ-specific ANTIBODIES against a variety of ENDOCRINE GLANDS have been detected. The type II syndrome differs from type I in that it is associated with HLA-A1 and B8 haplotypes, onset is usually in adulthood, and candidiasis is not present.Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect: A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous: Skin diseases characterized by local or general distributions of blisters. They are classified according to the site and mode of blister formation. Lesions can appear spontaneously or be precipitated by infection, trauma, or sunlight. Etiologies include immunologic and genetic factors. (From Scientific American Medicine, 1990)Antibodies, Anticardiolipin: Antiphospholipid antibodies found in association with systemic lupus erythematosus (LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, SYSTEMIC;), ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME; and in a variety of other diseases as well as in healthy individuals. The antibodies are detected by solid-phase IMMUNOASSAY employing the purified phospholipid antigen CARDIOLIPIN.Stiff-Person Syndrome: A condition characterized by persistent spasms (SPASM) involving multiple muscles, primarily in the lower limbs and trunk. The illness tends to occur in the fourth to sixth decade of life, presenting with intermittent spasms that become continuous. Minor sensory stimuli, such as noise and light touch, precipitate severe spasms. Spasms do not occur during sleep and only rarely involve cranial muscles. Respiration may become impaired in advanced cases. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1492; Neurology 1998 Jul;51(1):85-93)Polymyositis: Diseases characterized by inflammation involving multiple muscles. This may occur as an acute or chronic condition associated with medication toxicity (DRUG TOXICITY); CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASES; infections; malignant NEOPLASMS; and other disorders. The term polymyositis is frequently used to refer to a specific clinical entity characterized by subacute or slowly progressing symmetrical weakness primarily affecting the proximal limb and trunk muscles. The illness may occur at any age, but is most frequent in the fourth to sixth decade of life. Weakness of pharyngeal and laryngeal muscles, interstitial lung disease, and inflammation of the myocardium may also occur. Muscle biopsy reveals widespread destruction of segments of muscle fibers and an inflammatory cellular response. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1404-9)Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Thyroid Gland: A highly vascularized endocrine gland consisting of two lobes joined by a thin band of tissue with one lobe on each side of the TRACHEA. It secretes THYROID HORMONES from the follicular cells and CALCITONIN from the parafollicular cells thereby regulating METABOLISM and CALCIUM level in blood, respectively.Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary: FIBROSIS of the hepatic parenchyma due to obstruction of BILE flow (CHOLESTASIS) in the intrahepatic or extrahepatic bile ducts (BILE DUCTS, INTRAHEPATIC; BILE DUCTS, EXTRAHEPATIC). Primary biliary cirrhosis involves the destruction of small intra-hepatic bile ducts and bile secretion. Secondary biliary cirrhosis is produced by prolonged obstruction of large intrahepatic or extrahepatic bile ducts from a variety of causes.Connective Tissue Diseases: A heterogeneous group of disorders, some hereditary, others acquired, characterized by abnormal structure or function of one or more of the elements of connective tissue, i.e., collagen, elastin, or the mucopolysaccharides.Myeloblastin: A polymorphonuclear leukocyte-derived serine protease that degrades proteins such as ELASTIN; FIBRONECTIN; LAMININ; VITRONECTIN; and COLLAGEN. It is named for its ability to control myeloid cell growth and differentiation.Receptors, Thyrotropin: Cell surface proteins that bind pituitary THYROTROPIN (also named thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH) and trigger intracellular changes of the target cells. TSH receptors are present in the nervous system and on target cells in the thyroid gland. Autoantibodies to TSH receptors are implicated in thyroid diseases such as GRAVES DISEASE and Hashimoto disease (THYROIDITIS, AUTOIMMUNE).Protein Array Analysis: Ligand-binding assays that measure protein-protein, protein-small molecule, or protein-nucleic acid interactions using a very large set of capturing molecules, i.e., those attached separately on a solid support, to measure the presence or interaction of target molecules in the sample.beta 2-Glycoprotein I: A 44-kDa highly glycosylated plasma protein that binds phospholipids including CARDIOLIPIN; APOLIPOPROTEIN E RECEPTOR; membrane phospholipids, and other anionic phospholipid-containing moieties. It plays a role in coagulation and apoptotic processes. Formerly known as apolipoprotein H, it is an autoantigen in patients with ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODIES.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Hepatitis, Autoimmune: A chronic self-perpetuating hepatocellular INFLAMMATION of unknown cause, usually with HYPERGAMMAGLOBULINEMIA and serum AUTOANTIBODIES.Mixed Connective Tissue Disease: A syndrome with overlapping clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and Raynaud's phenomenon. The disease is differentially characterized by high serum titers of antibodies to ribonuclease-sensitive extractable (saline soluble) nuclear antigen and a "speckled" epidermal nuclear staining pattern on direct immunofluorescence.Blister: Visible accumulations of fluid within or beneath the epidermis.Antibody Formation: The production of ANTIBODIES by proliferating and differentiated B-LYMPHOCYTES under stimulation by ANTIGENS.Mice, Inbred BALB CImmunoglobulin A: Represents 15-20% of the human serum immunoglobulins, mostly as the 4-chain polymer in humans or dimer in other mammals. Secretory IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) is the main immunoglobulin in secretions.Mice, Inbred C57BLEpidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita: Form of epidermolysis bullosa characterized by trauma-induced, subepidermal blistering with no family history of the disease. Direct immunofluorescence shows IMMUNOGLOBULIN G deposited at the dermo-epidermal junction.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Immunoblotting: Immunologic method used for detecting or quantifying immunoreactive substances. The substance is identified by first immobilizing it by blotting onto a membrane and then tagging it with labeled antibodies.Histidine-tRNA Ligase: An enzyme that activates histidine with its specific transfer RNA. EC 6.1.1.21.Thyroid Diseases: Pathological processes involving the THYROID GLAND.Thyroiditis: Inflammatory diseases of the THYROID GLAND. Thyroiditis can be classified into acute (THYROIDITIS, SUPPURATIVE), subacute (granulomatous and lymphocytic), chronic fibrous (Riedel's), chronic lymphocytic (HASHIMOTO DISEASE), transient (POSTPARTUM THYROIDITIS), and other AUTOIMMUNE THYROIDITIS subtypes.Complement C1q: A subcomponent of complement C1, composed of six copies of three polypeptide chains (A, B, and C), each encoded by a separate gene (C1QA; C1QB; C1QC). This complex is arranged in nine subunits (six disulfide-linked dimers of A and B, and three disulfide-linked homodimers of C). C1q has binding sites for antibodies (the heavy chain of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G or IMMUNOGLOBULIN M). The interaction of C1q and immunoglobulin activates the two proenzymes COMPLEMENT C1R and COMPLEMENT C1S, thus initiating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION via the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY.Mercuric Chloride: Mercury chloride (HgCl2). A highly toxic compound that volatizes slightly at ordinary temperature and appreciably at 100 degrees C. It is corrosive to mucous membranes and used as a topical antiseptic and disinfectant.Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Disease: An autoimmune disease of the KIDNEY and the LUNG. It is characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies targeting the epitopes in the non-collagenous domains of COLLAGEN TYPE IV in the basement membranes of kidney glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) and lung alveoli (PULMONARY ALVEOLI), and the subsequent destruction of these basement membranes. Clinical features include pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage and glomerulonephritis.Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments: Univalent antigen-binding fragments composed of one entire IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN and the amino terminal end of one of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS from the hinge region, linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fab contains the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGIONS, which are part of the antigen-binding site, and the first IMMUNOGLOBULIN CONSTANT REGIONS. This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme PAPAIN.HLA-DQ beta-Chains: Transmembrane proteins that form the beta subunits of the HLA-DQ antigens.HLA-DQ Antigens: A group of the D-related HLA antigens found to differ from the DR antigens in genetic locus and therefore inheritance. These antigens are polymorphic glycoproteins comprising alpha and beta chains and are found on lymphoid and other cells, often associated with certain diseases.Addison Disease: An adrenal disease characterized by the progressive destruction of the ADRENAL CORTEX, resulting in insufficient production of ALDOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Clinical symptoms include ANOREXIA; NAUSEA; WEIGHT LOSS; MUSCLE WEAKNESS; and HYPERPIGMENTATION of the SKIN due to increase in circulating levels of ACTH precursor hormone which stimulates MELANOCYTES.Rheumatic Diseases: Disorders of connective tissue, especially the joints and related structures, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement.Glomerulonephritis: Inflammation of the renal glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) that can be classified by the type of glomerular injuries including antibody deposition, complement activation, cellular proliferation, and glomerulosclerosis. These structural and functional abnormalities usually lead to HEMATURIA; PROTEINURIA; HYPERTENSION; and RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis: A PULMONARY ALVEOLI-filling disease, characterized by dense phospholipoproteinaceous deposits in the alveoli, cough, and DYSPNEA. This disease is often related to, congenital or acquired, impaired processing of PULMONARY SURFACTANTS by alveolar macrophages, a process dependent on GRANULOCYTE-MACROPHAGE COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR.T-Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified - cytotoxic (T-LYMPHOCYTES, CYTOTOXIC) and helper T-lymphocytes (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the THYMUS GLAND and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen.Immunoglobulin Variable Region: That region of the immunoglobulin molecule that varies in its amino acid sequence and composition, and comprises the binding site for a specific antigen. It is located at the N-terminus of the Fab fragment of the immunoglobulin. It includes hypervariable regions (COMPLEMENTARITY DETERMINING REGIONS) and framework regions.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Myasthenia Gravis: A disorder of neuromuscular transmission characterized by weakness of cranial and skeletal muscles. Autoantibodies directed against acetylcholine receptors damage the motor endplate portion of the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION, impairing the transmission of impulses to skeletal muscles. Clinical manifestations may include diplopia, ptosis, and weakness of facial, bulbar, respiratory, and proximal limb muscles. The disease may remain limited to the ocular muscles. THYMOMA is commonly associated with this condition. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1459)Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Immunoglobulin Isotypes: The classes of immunoglobulins found in any species of animal. In man there are nine classes that migrate in five different groups in electrophoresis; they each consist of two light and two heavy protein chains, and each group has distinguishing structural and functional properties.Cryoglobulins: Abnormal immunoglobulins, especially IGG or IGM, that precipitate spontaneously when SERUM is cooled below 37 degrees Celsius. It is characteristic of CRYOGLOBULINEMIA.Acantholysis: Separation of the prickle cells of the stratum spinosum of the epidermis, resulting in atrophy of the prickle cell layer. It is seen in diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris (see PEMPHIGUS) and DARIER DISEASE.Molecular Mimicry: The structure of one molecule that imitates or simulates the structure of a different molecule.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Antibody Affinity: A measure of the binding strength between antibody and a simple hapten or antigen determinant. It depends on the closeness of stereochemical fit between antibody combining sites and antigen determinants, on the size of the area of contact between them, and on the distribution of charged and hydrophobic groups. It includes the concept of "avidity," which refers to the strength of the antigen-antibody bond after formation of reversible complexes.Neuromyelitis Optica: A syndrome characterized by acute OPTIC NEURITIS; MYELITIS, TRANSVERSE; demyelinating and/or necrotizing lesions in the OPTIC NERVES and SPINAL CORD; and presence of specific autoantibodies to AQUAPORIN 4.Antiphospholipid Syndrome: The presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids (ANTIBODIES, ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID). The condition is associated with a variety of diseases, notably systemic lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases, thrombopenia, and arterial or venous thromboses. In pregnancy it can cause abortion. Of the phospholipids, the cardiolipins show markedly elevated levels of anticardiolipin antibodies (ANTIBODIES, ANTICARDIOLIPIN). Present also are high levels of lupus anticoagulant (LUPUS COAGULATION INHIBITOR).CitrullineIslets of Langerhans: Irregular microscopic structures consisting of cords of endocrine cells that are scattered throughout the PANCREAS among the exocrine acini. Each islet is surrounded by connective tissue fibers and penetrated by a network of capillaries. There are four major cell types. The most abundant beta cells (50-80%) secrete INSULIN. Alpha cells (5-20%) secrete GLUCAGON. PP cells (10-35%) secrete PANCREATIC POLYPEPTIDE. Delta cells (~5%) secrete SOMATOSTATIN.Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic: Thrombocytopenia occurring in the absence of toxic exposure or a disease associated with decreased platelets. It is mediated by immune mechanisms, in most cases IMMUNOGLOBULIN G autoantibodies which attach to platelets and subsequently undergo destruction by macrophages. The disease is seen in acute (affecting children) and chronic (adult) forms.Wegener Granulomatosis: A multisystemic disease of a complex genetic background. It is characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (VASCULITIS) leading to damage in any number of organs. The common features include granulomatous inflammation of the RESPIRATORY TRACT and kidneys. Most patients have measurable autoantibodies (ANTINEUTROPHIL CYTOPLASMIC ANTIBODIES) against neutrophil proteinase-3 (WEGENER AUTOANTIGEN).Hybridomas: Cells artificially created by fusion of activated lymphocytes with neoplastic cells. The resulting hybrid cells are cloned and produce pure MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES or T-cell products, identical to those produced by the immunologically competent parent cell.Aquaporin 4: Aquaporin 4 is the major water-selective channel in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM of mammals.Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating: Autoantibodies that bind to the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor (RECEPTORS, THYROTROPIN) on thyroid epithelial cells. The autoantibodies mimic TSH causing an unregulated production of thyroid hormones characteristic of GRAVES DISEASE.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Immunoglobulins: Multi-subunit proteins which function in IMMUNITY. They are produced by B LYMPHOCYTES from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES. They are comprised of two heavy (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) and two light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) with additional ancillary polypeptide chains depending on their isoforms. The variety of isoforms include monomeric or polymeric forms, and transmembrane forms (B-CELL ANTIGEN RECEPTORS) or secreted forms (ANTIBODIES). They are divided by the amino acid sequence of their heavy chains into five classes (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; IMMUNOGLOBULIN D; IMMUNOGLOBULIN E; IMMUNOGLOBULIN G; IMMUNOGLOBULIN M) and various subclasses.Transglutaminases: Transglutaminases catalyze cross-linking of proteins at a GLUTAMINE in one chain with LYSINE in another chain. They include keratinocyte transglutaminase (TGM1 or TGK), tissue transglutaminase (TGM2 or TGC), plasma transglutaminase involved with coagulation (FACTOR XIII and FACTOR XIIIa), hair follicle transglutaminase, and prostate transglutaminase. Although structures differ, they share an active site (YGQCW) and strict CALCIUM dependence.Antigens: Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte: Antigenic determinants recognized and bound by the B-cell receptor. Epitopes recognized by the B-cell receptor are located on the surface of the antigen.Peptides, Cyclic: Peptides whose amino and carboxy ends are linked together with a peptide bond forming a circular chain. Some of them are ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS. Some of them are biosynthesized non-ribosomally (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NON-RIBOSOMAL).Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-1: A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). The adrenergic beta-1 receptors are equally sensitive to EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE and bind the agonist DOBUTAMINE and the antagonist METOPROLOL with high affinity. They are found in the HEART, juxtaglomerular cells, and in the central and peripheral nervous systems.Receptors, Phospholipase A2: Cell surface receptors that bind to and internalize SECRETED PHOSPHOLIPASES A2. Although primarily acting as scavenger receptors, these proteins may also play a role in intracellular signaling. Soluble forms of phospholipase A2 receptors occur through the action of proteases and may a play a role in the inhibition of extracellular phospholipase activity.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Spleen: An encapsulated lymphatic organ through which venous blood filters.B-Lymphocyte Subsets: A classification of B-lymphocytes based on structurally or functionally different populations of cells.Antibodies, Antiphospholipid: Autoantibodies directed against phospholipids. These antibodies are characteristically found in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, SYSTEMIC;), ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME; related autoimmune diseases, some non-autoimmune diseases, and also in healthy individuals.Self Tolerance: The normal lack of the ability to produce an immunological response to autologous (self) antigens. A breakdown of self tolerance leads to autoimmune diseases. The ability to recognize the difference between self and non-self is the prime function of the immune system.Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay: Sensitive assay using radiolabeled ANTIGENS to detect specific ANTIBODIES in SERUM. The antigens are allowed to react with the serum and then precipitated using a special reagent such as PROTEIN A sepharose beads. The bound radiolabeled immunoprecipitate is then commonly analyzed by gel electrophoresis.Antigens, Nuclear: Immunologically detectable substances found in the CELL NUCLEUS.Lupus Vasculitis, Central Nervous System: Central nervous system vasculitis that is associated with SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Clinical manifestations may include DEMENTIA; SEIZURES; CRANIAL NERVE DISEASES; HEMIPARESIS; BLINDNESS; DYSPHASIA; and other neurological disorders.HLA-DR3 Antigen: An HLA-DR antigen which is associated with HLA-DRB1 CHAINS encoded by DRB1*03 alleles.Celiac Disease: A malabsorption syndrome that is precipitated by the ingestion of foods containing GLUTEN, such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is characterized by INFLAMMATION of the SMALL INTESTINE, loss of MICROVILLI structure, failed INTESTINAL ABSORPTION, and MALNUTRITION.Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains: The largest of polypeptide chains comprising immunoglobulins. They contain 450 to 600 amino acid residues per chain, and have molecular weights of 51-72 kDa.