Overview of the immune system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


The immune system is designed to execute rapid, specific, and protective responses against foreign pathogens. To protect against the potentially harmful effects of autoreactive escapees that might arise during the course of the immune response, multiple tolerance checkpoints exist in both the primary and secondary lymphoid organs. Regardless, autoantibodies targeting neural antigens exist in multiple neurologic diseases. The goal of this introductory chapter is to provide a foundation of the major principles and components of the immune system as a framework to understanding autoimmunity and autoimmune neurologic disorders. A broad overview of: (1) innate mechanisms of immunity and their contribution in demyelinating diseases; (2) B and T lymphocytes as effector arms of the adaptive immune response and their contribution to the pathophysiology of neurologic diseases; and (3) emerging therapeutic modalities for treatment of autoimmune disease is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAutoimmune Neurology, 2016
EditorsSean J. Pittock, Angela Vincent
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780444634320
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Adaptive immunity
  • Antibody
  • Autoimmune
  • B cell
  • Innate immunity
  • Neurologic disease
  • T cell
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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