Immunological tolerance is the ability of an individual's immune system to ignore â€śselfâ€ť while reacting to â€śnon-selfâ€ť organisms and substances.
The system is extremely complex, and needs to somehow set a balance between being able to accurately sense and eradicate â€śnon-selfâ€ť entities, whilst leaving the â€śselfâ€ť cells etc. untouched.
Malfunctions of the system, in which it over-sensitively targets â€śselfâ€ť structures, are believed to be of profound importance with autoimmune diseases such asand etc.
The mechanisms by which immunological tolerance is maintained in balance (and how it sometimes goes out of balance) are unclear. There are currently five main theories which attempt an explanation . They are the :
For details, see: Wikipedia
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