Autoimmunity: Process whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues. Autoimmunity may produce or be caused by AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.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.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.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.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.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.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.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.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.T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory: CD4-positive T cells that inhibit immunopathology or autoimmune disease in vivo. They inhibit the immune response by influencing the activity of other cell types. Regulatory T-cells include naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ cells, IL-10 secreting Tr1 cells, and Th3 cells.Mice, Inbred C57BLImmune Tolerance: The specific failure of a normally responsive individual to make an immune response to a known antigen. It results from previous contact with the antigen by an immunologically immature individual (fetus or neonate) or by an adult exposed to extreme high-dose or low-dose antigen, or by exposure to radiation, antimetabolites, antilymphocytic serum, etc.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.Mice, Inbred NOD: A strain of non-obese diabetic mice developed in Japan that has been widely studied as a model for T-cell-dependent autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in which insulitis is a major histopathologic feature, and in which genetic susceptibility is strongly MHC-linked.Lymphocyte Activation: Morphologic alteration of small B LYMPHOCYTES or T LYMPHOCYTES in culture into large blast-like cells able to synthesize DNA and RNA and to divide mitotically. It is induced by INTERLEUKINS; MITOGENS such as PHYTOHEMAGGLUTININS, and by specific ANTIGENS. It may also occur in vivo as in GRAFT REJECTION.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.Mice, Inbred NZBMice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental: An experimental animal model for central nervous system demyelinating disease. Inoculation with a white matter emulsion combined with FREUND'S ADJUVANT, myelin basic protein, or purified central myelin triggers a T cell-mediated immune response directed towards central myelin. The pathologic features are similar to MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, including perivascular and periventricular foci of inflammation and demyelination. Subpial demyelination underlying meningeal infiltrations also occurs, which is also a feature of ENCEPHALOMYELITIS, ACUTE DISSEMINATED. Passive immunization with T-cells from an afflicted animal to a normal animal also induces this condition. (From Immunol Res 1998;17(1-2):217-27; Raine CS, Textbook of Neuropathology, 2nd ed, p604-5)Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System: Disorders caused by cellular or humoral immune responses primarily directed towards nervous system autoantigens. The immune response may be directed towards specific tissue components (e.g., myelin) and may be limited to the central nervous system (e.g., MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS) or the peripheral nervous system (e.g., GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME).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 18.104.22.168.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes: A critical subpopulation of T-lymphocytes involved in the induction of most immunological functions. The HIV virus has selective tropism for the T4 cell which expresses the CD4 phenotypic marker, a receptor for HIV. In fact, the key element in the profound immunosuppression seen in HIV infection is the depletion of this subset of T-lymphocytes.Adoptive Transfer: Form of passive immunization where previously sensitized immunologic agents (cells or serum) are transferred to non-immune recipients. When transfer of cells is used as a therapy for the treatment of neoplasms, it is called adoptive immunotherapy (IMMUNOTHERAPY, ADOPTIVE).Interleukin-17: A proinflammatory cytokine produced primarily by T-LYMPHOCYTES or their precursors. Several subtypes of interleukin-17 have been identified, each of which is a product of a unique gene.Islets 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.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Models, Immunological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of immune system, processes, or phenomena. They include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electrical equipment.Forkhead Transcription Factors: A subclass of winged helix DNA-binding proteins that share homology with their founding member fork head protein, Drosophila.T-Lymphocyte Subsets: A classification of T-lymphocytes, especially into helper/inducer, suppressor/effector, and cytotoxic subsets, based on structurally or functionally different populations of cells.Dendritic Cells: Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as SKIN and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process ANTIGENS, and present them to T-CELLS, thereby stimulating CELL-MEDIATED IMMUNITY. They are different from the non-hematopoietic FOLLICULAR DENDRITIC CELLS, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (ANTIBODY PRODUCTION).Mice, Inbred BALB CPolyendocrinopathies, 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.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.Spleen: An encapsulated lymphatic organ through which venous blood filters.Insulin Antibodies: Antibodies specific to INSULIN.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.Th17 Cells: Subset of helper-effector T-lymphocytes which synthesize and secrete IL-17, IL-17F, and IL-22. These cytokines are involved in host defenses and tissue inflammation in autoimmune diseases.Lupus Vulgaris: A form of cutaneous tuberculosis. It is seen predominantly in women and typically involves the NASAL MUCOSA; BUCCAL MUCOSA; and conjunctival mucosa.B-Cell Activating Factor: A tumor necrosis factor superfamily member that plays a role in the regulation of B-LYMPHOCYTE survival. It occurs as a membrane-bound protein that is cleaved to release an biologically active soluble form with specificity to TRANSMEMBRANE ACTIVATOR AND CAML INTERACTOR PROTEIN; B-CELL ACTIVATION FACTOR RECEPTOR; and B-CELL MATURATION ANTIGEN.Thymus Gland: A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the MEDIASTINUM, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the THYROID GLAND and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat.Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 22: A subtype of non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases that is characterized by the presence of an N-terminal catalytic domain and a C-terminal PROLINE-rich domain. The phosphatase subtype is predominantly expressed in LYMPHOCYTES and plays a key role in the inhibition of downstream T-LYMPHOCYTE activation. Polymorphisms in the gene that encodes this phosphatase subtype are associated with a variety of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer: Subpopulation of CD4+ lymphocytes that cooperate with other lymphocytes (either T or B) to initiate a variety of immune functions. For example, helper-inducer T-cells cooperate with B-cells to produce antibodies to thymus-dependent antigens and with other subpopulations of T-cells to initiate a variety of cell-mediated immune functions.Hashimoto Disease: Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, characterized by the presence of high serum thyroid AUTOANTIBODIES; GOITER; and HYPOTHYROIDISM.Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell: Molecules on the surface of T-lymphocytes that recognize and combine with antigens. The receptors are non-covalently associated with a complex of several polypeptides collectively called CD3 antigens (ANTIGENS, CD3). Recognition of foreign antigen and the major histocompatibility complex is accomplished by a single heterodimeric antigen-receptor structure, composed of either alpha-beta (RECEPTORS, ANTIGEN, T-CELL, ALPHA-BETA) or gamma-delta (RECEPTORS, ANTIGEN, T-CELL, GAMMA-DELTA) chains.Vitiligo: A disorder consisting of areas of macular depigmentation, commonly on extensor aspects of extremities, on the face or neck, and in skin folds. Age of onset is often in young adulthood and the condition tends to progress gradually with lesions enlarging and extending until a quiescent state is reached.Flow Cytometry: Technique using an instrument system for making, processing, and displaying one or more measurements on individual cells obtained from a cell suspension. Cells are usually stained with one or more fluorescent dyes specific to cell components of interest, e.g., DNA, and fluorescence of each cell is measured as it rapidly transverses the excitation beam (laser or mercury arc lamp). Fluorescence provides a quantitative measure of various biochemical and biophysical properties of the cell, as well as a basis for cell sorting. Other measurable optical parameters include light absorption and light scattering, the latter being applicable to the measurement of cell size, shape, density, granularity, and stain uptake.Molecular Mimicry: The structure of one molecule that imitates or simulates the structure of a different molecule.Cytokines: Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner.ThyroglobulinB-Lymphocyte Subsets: A classification of B-lymphocytes based on structurally or functionally different populations of cells.CTLA-4 Antigen: An inhibitory T CELL receptor that is closely related to CD28 ANTIGEN. It has specificity for CD80 ANTIGEN and CD86 ANTIGEN and acts as a negative regulator of peripheral T cell function. CTLA-4 antigen is believed to play role in inducing PERIPHERAL TOLERANCE.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 22.214.171.124.Lymphopenia: Reduction in the number of lymphocytes.Multiple Sclerosis: An autoimmune disorder mainly affecting young adults and characterized by destruction of myelin in the central nervous system. Pathologic findings include multiple sharply demarcated areas of demyelination throughout the white matter of the central nervous system. Clinical manifestations include visual loss, extra-ocular movement disorders, paresthesias, loss of sensation, weakness, dysarthria, spasticity, ataxia, and bladder dysfunction. The usual pattern is one of recurrent attacks followed by partial recovery (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, RELAPSING-REMITTING), but acute fulminating and chronic progressive forms (see MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE) also occur. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p903)Thyroid Diseases: Pathological processes involving the THYROID GLAND.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.Inflammation: A pathological process characterized by injury or destruction of tissues caused by a variety of cytologic and chemical reactions. It is usually manifested by typical signs of pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.Th1 Cells: Subset of helper-inducer T-lymphocytes which synthesize and secrete interleukin-2, gamma-interferon, and interleukin-12. Due to their ability to kill antigen-presenting cells and their lymphokine-mediated effector activity, Th1 cells are associated with vigorous delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions.Interferon-gamma: The major interferon produced by mitogenically or antigenically stimulated LYMPHOCYTES. It is structurally different from TYPE I INTERFERON and its major activity is immunoregulation. It has been implicated in the expression of CLASS II HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS in cells that do not normally produce them, leading to AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory: B-cells that have a role in regulating the immune response including the production of CYTOKINES. This function is in addition to their traditional role in making antibodies.Genetic Predisposition to Disease: A latent susceptibility to disease at the genetic level, which may be activated under certain conditions.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.HLA-DQ beta-Chains: Transmembrane proteins that form the beta subunits of the HLA-DQ antigens.CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes: A critical subpopulation of regulatory T-lymphocytes involved in MHC Class I-restricted interactions. They include both cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (T-LYMPHOCYTES, CYTOTOXIC) and CD8+ suppressor T-lymphocytes.Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Collagen Type V: A fibrillar collagen found widely distributed as a minor component in tissues that contain COLLAGEN TYPE I and COLLAGEN TYPE III. It is a heterotrimeric molecule composed of alpha1(V), alpha2(V) and alpha3(V) subunits. Several forms of collagen type V exist depending upon the composition of the subunits that form the trimer.Antigens, CD: Differentiation antigens residing on mammalian leukocytes. CD stands for cluster of differentiation, which refers to groups of monoclonal antibodies that show similar reactivity with certain subpopulations of antigens of a particular lineage or differentiation stage. The subpopulations of antigens are also known by the same CD designation.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).Peripheral Tolerance: The mechanism, in peripheral lymphoid organs (LYMPH NODES; SPLEEN; TONSILS; and mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue), that prevents mature lymphocytes from reacting to SELF-ANTIGENS. This is accomplished through a variety of means including CLONAL ANERGY and CLONAL DELETION.Antigen Presentation: The process by which antigen is presented to lymphocytes in a form they can recognize. This is performed by antigen presenting cells (APCs). Some antigens require processing before they can be recognized. Antigen processing consists of ingestion and partial digestion of the antigen by the APC, followed by presentation of fragments on the cell surface. (From Rosen et al., Dictionary of Immunology, 1989)Immunity, Innate: The capacity of a normal organism to remain unaffected by microorganisms and their toxins. It results from the presence of naturally occurring ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS, constitutional factors such as BODY TEMPERATURE and immediate acting immune cells such as NATURAL KILLER CELLS.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.Mice, Congenic: Mouse strains constructed to possess identical genotypes except for a difference at a single gene locus.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).Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.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.Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein: A transmembrane protein present in the MYELIN SHEATH of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. It is one of the main autoantigens implicated in the pathogenesis of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit: A low affinity interleukin-2 receptor subunit that combines with the INTERLEUKIN-2 RECEPTOR BETA SUBUNIT and the INTERLEUKIN RECEPTOR COMMON GAMMA-CHAIN to form a high affinity receptor for INTERLEUKIN-2.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.Hypergammaglobulinemia: An excess of GAMMA-GLOBULINS in the serum due to chronic infections or PARAPROTEINEMIAS.Histocompatibility Antigens Class II: Large, transmembrane, non-covalently linked glycoproteins (alpha and beta). Both chains can be polymorphic although there is more structural variation in the beta chains. The class II antigens in humans are called HLA-D ANTIGENS and are coded by a gene on chromosome 6. In mice, two genes named IA and IE on chromosome 17 code for the H-2 antigens. The antigens are found on B-lymphocytes, macrophages, epidermal cells, and sperm and are thought to mediate the competence of and cellular cooperation in the immune response. The term IA antigens used to refer only to the proteins encoded by the IA genes in the mouse, but is now used as a generic term for any class II histocompatibility antigen.Immunotherapy: Manipulation of the host's immune system in treatment of disease. It includes both active and passive immunization as well as immunosuppressive therapy to prevent graft rejection.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.Myelin Basic Protein: An abundant cytosolic protein that plays a critical role in the structure of multilamellar myelin. Myelin basic protein binds to the cytosolic sides of myelin cell membranes and causes a tight adhesion between opposing cell membranes.Immunomodulation: Alteration of the immune system or of an immune response by agents that activate or suppress its function. This can include IMMUNIZATION or administration of immunomodulatory drugs. Immunomodulation can also encompass non-therapeutic alteration of the immune system effected by endogenous or exogenous substances.Immune System: The body's defense mechanism against foreign organisms or substances and deviant native cells. It includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response and consists of a complex of interrelated cellular, molecular, and genetic components.Uveitis: Inflammation of part or all of the uvea, the middle (vascular) tunic of the eye, and commonly involving the other tunics (sclera and cornea, and the retina). (Dorland, 27th ed)Immunization: Deliberate stimulation of the host's immune response. ACTIVE IMMUNIZATION involves administration of ANTIGENS or IMMUNOLOGIC ADJUVANTS. PASSIVE IMMUNIZATION involves administration of IMMUNE SERA or LYMPHOCYTES or their extracts (e.g., transfer factor, immune RNA) or transplantation of immunocompetent cell producing tissue (thymus or bone marrow).Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Antibody Formation: The production of ANTIBODIES by proliferating and differentiated B-LYMPHOCYTES under stimulation by ANTIGENS.Thymectomy: Surgical removal of the thymus gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)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.Antigen-Presenting Cells: A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include MACROPHAGES; DENDRITIC CELLS; LANGERHANS CELLS; and B-LYMPHOCYTES. FOLLICULAR DENDRITIC CELLS are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of IMMUNE COMPLEXES for B-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors.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)Mice, Inbred DBAArthritis, Experimental: ARTHRITIS that is induced in experimental animals. Immunological methods and infectious agents can be used to develop experimental arthritis models. These methods include injections of stimulators of the immune response, such as an adjuvant (ADJUVANTS, IMMUNOLOGIC) or COLLAGEN.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Th2 Cells: Subset of helper-inducer T-lymphocytes which synthesize and secrete the interleukins IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10. These cytokines influence B-cell development and antibody production as well as augmenting humoral responses.Infection: Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms that can cause pathological conditions or diseases.Adaptive Immunity: Protection from an infectious disease agent that is mediated by B- and T- LYMPHOCYTES following exposure to specific antigen, and characterized by IMMUNOLOGIC MEMORY. It can result from either previous infection with that agent or vaccination (IMMUNITY, ACTIVE), or transfer of antibody or lymphocytes from an immune donor (IMMUNIZATION, PASSIVE).Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Rats, Inbred LewRats, Inbred BB: A strain of Rattus norvegicus which is a model for spontaneous insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, INSULIN-DEPENDENT).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.Lymphoproliferative Disorders: Disorders characterized by proliferation of lymphoid tissue, general or unspecified.Lymphatic Diseases: Diseases of LYMPH; LYMPH NODES; or LYMPHATIC VESSELS.Receptors, Interleukin-2: Receptors present on activated T-LYMPHOCYTES and B-LYMPHOCYTES that are specific for INTERLEUKIN-2 and play an important role in LYMPHOCYTE ACTIVATION. They are heterotrimeric proteins consisting of the INTERLEUKIN-2 RECEPTOR ALPHA SUBUNIT, the INTERLEUKIN-2 RECEPTOR BETA SUBUNIT, and the INTERLEUKIN RECEPTOR COMMON GAMMA-CHAIN.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Interleukin-10: A cytokine produced by a variety of cell types, including T-LYMPHOCYTES; MONOCYTES; DENDRITIC CELLS; and EPITHELIAL CELLS that exerts a variety of effects on immunoregulation and INFLAMMATION. Interleukin-10 combines with itself to form a homodimeric molecule that is the biologically active form of the protein.Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes: Syndromes in which there is a deficiency or defect in the mechanisms of immunity, either cellular or humoral.Antigens: Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.Clonal Anergy: Functional inactivation of T- or B-lymphocytes rendering them incapable of eliciting an immune response to antigen. This occurs through different mechanisms in the two kinds of lymphocytes and can contribute to SELF TOLERANCE.Interleukin-2: A soluble substance elaborated by antigen- or mitogen-stimulated T-LYMPHOCYTES which induces DNA synthesis in naive lymphocytes.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Interleukin-23: A heterodimeric cytokine that plays a role in innate and adaptive immune responses. Interleukin-23 is comprised of a unique 19 kDa subunit and 40 kDa subunit that is shared with INTERLEUKIN-12. It is produced by DENDRITIC CELLS; MACROPHAGES and a variety of other immune cellsLymphocyte Depletion: Immunosuppression by reduction of circulating lymphocytes or by T-cell depletion of bone marrow. The former may be accomplished in vivo by thoracic duct drainage or administration of antilymphocyte serum. The latter is performed ex vivo on bone marrow before its transplantation.HLA-DR Antigens: A subclass of HLA-D antigens that consist of alpha and beta chains. The inheritance of HLA-DR antigens differs from that of the HLA-DQ ANTIGENS and HLA-DP ANTIGENS.Antigens, Differentiation: Antigens expressed primarily on the membranes of living cells during sequential stages of maturation and differentiation. As immunologic markers they have high organ and tissue specificity and are useful as probes in studies of normal cell development as well as neoplastic transformation.Islets of Langerhans Transplantation: The transference of pancreatic islets within an individual, between individuals of the same species, or between individuals of different species.Crosses, Genetic: Deliberate breeding of two different individuals that results in offspring that carry part of the genetic material of each parent. The parent organisms must be genetically compatible and may be from different varieties or closely related species.ArthritisAllergy and Immunology: A medical specialty concerned with the hypersensitivity of the individual to foreign substances and protection from the resultant infection or disorder.Clonal Deletion: Removal, via CELL DEATH, of immature lymphocytes that interact with antigens during maturation. For T-lymphocytes this occurs in the thymus and ensures that mature T-lymphocytes are self tolerant. B-lymphocytes may also undergo clonal deletion.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.Interleukins: Soluble factors which stimulate growth-related activities of leukocytes as well as other cell types. They enhance cell proliferation and differentiation, DNA synthesis, secretion of other biologically active molecules and responses to immune and inflammatory stimuli.Immunity, Cellular: Manifestations of the immune response which are mediated by antigen-sensitized T-lymphocytes via lymphokines or direct cytotoxicity. This takes place in the absence of circulating antibody or where antibody plays a subordinate role.Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell: IMMUNOGLOBULINS on the surface of B-LYMPHOCYTES. Their MESSENGER RNA contains an EXON with a membrane spanning sequence, producing immunoglobulins in the form of type I transmembrane proteins as opposed to secreted immunoglobulins (ANTIBODIES) which do not contain the membrane spanning segment.Myocarditis: Inflammatory processes of the muscular walls of the heart (MYOCARDIUM) which result in injury to the cardiac muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Manifestations range from subclinical to sudden death (DEATH, SUDDEN). Myocarditis in association with cardiac dysfunction is classified as inflammatory CARDIOMYOPATHY usually caused by INFECTION, autoimmune diseases, or responses to toxic substances. Myocarditis is also a common cause of DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY and other cardiomyopathies.Disease Susceptibility: A constitution or condition of the body which makes the tissues react in special ways to certain extrinsic stimuli and thus tends to make the individual more than usually susceptible to certain diseases.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.Mercury: A silver metallic element that exists as a liquid at room temperature. It has the atomic symbol Hg (from hydrargyrum, liquid silver), atomic number 80, and atomic weight 200.59. Mercury is used in many industrial applications and its salts have been employed therapeutically as purgatives, antisyphilitics, disinfectants, and astringents. It can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes which leads to MERCURY POISONING. Because of its toxicity, the clinical use of mercury and mercurials is diminishing.Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte: Antigenic determinants recognized and bound by the T-cell receptor. Epitopes recognized by the T-cell receptor are often located in the inner, unexposed side of the antigen, and become accessible to the T-cell receptors after proteolytic processing of the antigen.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune: Acquired hemolytic anemia due to the presence of AUTOANTIBODIES which agglutinate or lyse the patient's own RED BLOOD CELLS.Lymphocyte Count: The number of LYMPHOCYTES per unit volume of BLOOD.Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta: T-cell receptors composed of CD3-associated alpha and beta polypeptide chains and expressed primarily in CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells. Unlike immunoglobulins, the alpha-beta T-cell receptors recognize antigens only when presented in association with major histocompatibility (MHC) molecules.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.Antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the ANTIGEN (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series (especially PLASMA CELLS).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.Insulin-Secreting Cells: A type of pancreatic cell representing about 50-80% of the islet cells. Beta cells secrete INSULIN.Homeostasis: The processes whereby the internal environment of an organism tends to remain balanced and stable.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.Lymph Nodes: They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 - 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system.B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor: A member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily that specifically binds B-CELL ACTIVATING FACTOR. It is found on B-LYMPHOCYTES and plays a role in maturation and survival of B-cells. Signaling by the activated receptor occurs through its association with TNF RECEPTOR-ASSOCIATED FACTORS.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.Antigens, CD4: 55-kDa antigens found on HELPER-INDUCER T-LYMPHOCYTES and on a variety of other immune cell types. CD4 antigens are members of the immunoglobulin supergene family and are implicated as associative recognition elements in MAJOR HISTOCOMPATIBILITY COMPLEX class II-restricted immune responses. On T-lymphocytes they define the helper/inducer subset. CD4 antigens also serve as INTERLEUKIN-15 receptors and bind to the HIV receptors, binding directly to the HIV ENVELOPE PROTEIN GP120.Immunity, Humoral: Antibody-mediated immune response. Humoral immunity is brought about by ANTIBODY FORMATION, resulting from TH2 CELLS activating B-LYMPHOCYTES, followed by COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION.Alopecia Areata: Loss of scalp and body hair involving microscopically inflammatory patchy areas.Antigens, CD95: A tumor necrosis factor receptor subtype found in a variety of tissues and on activated LYMPHOCYTES. It has specificity for FAS LIGAND and plays a role in regulation of peripheral immune responses and APOPTOSIS. Multiple isoforms of the protein exist due to multiple ALTERNATIVE SPLICING. The activated receptor signals via a conserved death domain that associates with specific TNF RECEPTOR-ASSOCIATED FACTORS in the CYTOPLASM.Rats, Inbred BNAntibody 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.Germinal Center: The activated center of a lymphoid follicle in secondary lymphoid tissue where B-LYMPHOCYTES are stimulated by antigens and helper T cells (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER) are stimulated to generate memory cells.Antigens, CD80: A costimulatory ligand expressed by ANTIGEN-PRESENTING CELLS that binds to CTLA-4 ANTIGEN with high specificity and to CD28 ANTIGEN with low specificity. The interaction of CD80 with CD28 ANTIGEN provides a costimulatory signal to T-LYMPHOCYTES, while its interaction with CTLA-4 ANTIGEN may play a role in inducing PERIPHERAL TOLERANCE.Immunologic Memory: The altered state of immunologic responsiveness resulting from initial contact with antigen, which enables the individual to produce antibodies more rapidly and in greater quantity in response to secondary antigenic stimulus.Major Histocompatibility Complex: The genetic region which contains the loci of genes which determine the structure of the serologically defined (SD) and lymphocyte-defined (LD) TRANSPLANTATION ANTIGENS, genes which control the structure of the IMMUNE RESPONSE-ASSOCIATED ANTIGENS, HUMAN; the IMMUNE RESPONSE GENES which control the ability of an animal to respond immunologically to antigenic stimuli, and genes which determine the structure and/or level of the first four components of complement.Pemphigus: Group of chronic blistering diseases characterized histologically by ACANTHOLYSIS and blister formation within the EPIDERMIS.Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS: Conditions characterized by loss or dysfunction of myelin (see MYELIN SHEATH) in the brain, spinal cord, or optic nerves secondary to autoimmune mediated processes. This may take the form of a humoral or cellular immune response directed toward myelin or OLIGODENDROGLIA associated autoantigens.Immunophenotyping: Process of classifying cells of the immune system based on structural and functional differences. The process is commonly used to analyze and sort T-lymphocytes into subsets based on CD antigens by the technique of flow cytometry.Virus Diseases: A general term for diseases produced by viruses.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.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.CD40 Ligand: A membrane glycoprotein and differentiation antigen expressed on the surface of T-cells that binds to CD40 ANTIGENS on B-LYMPHOCYTES and induces their proliferation. Mutation of the gene for CD40 ligand is a cause of HYPER-IGM IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME, TYPE 1.Transplantation Tolerance: An induced state of non-reactivity to grafted tissue from a donor organism that would ordinarily trigger a cell-mediated or humoral immune response.Interleukin-4: A soluble factor produced by activated T-LYMPHOCYTES that induces the expression of MHC CLASS II GENES and FC RECEPTORS on B-LYMPHOCYTES and causes their proliferation and differentiation. It also acts on T-lymphocytes, MAST CELLS, and several other hematopoietic lineage cells.Lymphocytes: White blood cells formed in the body's lymphoid tissue. The nucleus is round or ovoid with coarse, irregularly clumped chromatin while the cytoplasm is typically pale blue with azurophilic (if any) granules. Most lymphocytes can be classified as either T or B (with subpopulations of each), or NATURAL KILLER CELLS.