Infectious microorganisms have evolved molecules which mimic the host in order to aid in their undetected propagation. In response, mammalian hosts have evolved a highly diverse immune repertoire designed to eradicate rapidly changing pathogens. The generation of diversity in the immune repertoire results in potentially damaging self cross-reactivities which require multiple regulatory controls to keep autoreactive lymphocytes in check. Here, we review how molecular mimicry at the T cell level might be important in the development of systemic autoimmunity.
- Determinant spreading
- T cell