Overview of importance of ‘self’ and ‘non-self’ in regards to immune response
· MHC Markers (self-antigens) - their role in the specific immune response
  • MHC markers are responsible for tissue/organ regection. It is in recognizing the presence/absence of MHC markers that WBCs will/will not initiate an immune response to the presence of a particular cell or substance. (Class ! and Class II MHC Markers - also called self-antigens or autoantigens)
  • Discuss 'Normal immune response' - T-cells, B-cells, antigens, pathogens, antibodies, cytokines,

Followed by introduction into Autoimmunity – what happens when there is a problem in distinguishing between self and non-self.
· General overview of autoimmune diseases - what are they?
  • diseases which are characterised by the persistent presence of immune cells (T lymphocytes and B lymphoctes) against self-components (self-antigens) in the cells of different tissues.
  • T cells attack tissues directly
  • B cells act indirectly by secreting antibodies
· Types of treatment (medicine)
  • specific organs - easier to treat
  • generalised autoimmune diseases - more difficult to treat

Multiple sclerosis
· What happens in MS
  • It is believed that MS is triggered in susceptible individuals via viral or bacterial infection that has an antigen, which mimics the MS "self antigen" on myelin. A macrophage then engulfs the pathogen. The "self-mimicking" antigen fragment derived from the pathogen is then displayed on the macrophage surface.
  • T-cells then release cytokins (interleukins), which activate B-cells (produce anitobodies against myelin self antigens) and macrophages (to directly phagocytose the myelin).
  • In the CNS, T-cells release cytokines which triggers inflammation
· Treatments (or lack thereof)
  • Corticosteroids (steroids) - reduce inflammation in the central nervous system and may help suppress the immune system's attack on myelin and even improve electrical conduction. (do not improve the long-term course of the disease and can lose effectiveness if overused)
  • Interferons - specifically block immune factors known as class II MHC molecules, which are associated with the attack on myelin and the breach in the blood-brain barrier that allows the destructive T cells to pass through. suppress important inflammatory factors in the immune system.
  • Immunosuppresants - block certain factors in the immune system that contribute to the inflammatory process.

Visual aids:
· Powerpoint slides – dot point summaries, including PICTURES

Sites used: