Immuno-Genetics & Immune Tolerance

The branch of medical genetics that explores or Studies the relationship between the immune system and genetics is known as Immunogenetics. Autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, are complex genetic traits which results due to the defects in the immune system. Identification of genes defining the immune defects will identify new target genes for therapeutic approaches. Genetic variations also helps to define the immunological pathway leading to disease.

Immune tolerance can be defined as the state of unresponsiveness of the immune system to substances or tissue that has the capacity to elicit an immune response in given organism. Immune tolerance is important for normal physiology. It can be induced by prior exposure to that specific antigen and contrasts with conventional immune-mediated elimination of foreign antigens.

Tolerance is classified depending on where the state is originally induced—in the thymus and bone marrow or in other tissues and lymph nodes.

  • Central tolerance: Immune system learns to discriminate self from non-self.
  • Peripheral tolerance: Preventing over-reactivity of the immune system to various environmental entities such as allergens, gut microbes, etc.