Cohen, J. John Department of Immunology, University of Colorado Medical School, Aurora, Colorado.
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A branch of medicine and the manifestation of conditions concerned with immune responses associated with the production of disease. Immunopathology is the study of various diseases in which humoral (body fluid) and cellular immune factors play a role in causing pathological damage to cells, tissues, and the host. Defective or malfunctioning immune responses often lead to illness or disease. Typically, immunopathologic conditions result from overactive immune responses (known as hypersensitivity reactions) or an inappropriate reaction to self (known as autoimmunity), in which normally protective antibody or T cell immune mechanisms are overactive or expressed against self antigens, respectively, resulting in damage to cells or organs (Fig. 1). In addition, immunopathology can result from ineffective immune responses (known as immunodeficiency). See also: Antibody; Antigen; Antigen-antibody reaction; Disease; Immunology; Pathology
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