Copyright ©2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng.
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 7, 2009; 15(9): 1025-1034
Published online Mar 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.1025
Figure 1
Figure 1 Pathogenesis of autoimmune hepatitis (molecular mimicry hypothesis). AIH can occur in an individual of a particular sex and age with a genetic background of susceptibility. To develop AIH, this individual must encounter an environmental trigger such as an infection or exposure to a xenobiotic. This will induce an immune response and secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules resulting in the elimination of the pathogen. However, this response may also lead to an immune cross-reactivity with liver proteins with an efficient activation of autoreactive cells leading to a break of immunological tolerance towards the liver.