Having a hypersensitivity means that someones immune system has reacted to something in a way that ends up damaging them, as opposed to protecting them. There are four different hypersensitivities and the third type or type III hypersensitivity reaction happens when antigenantibody complexes deposit in blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and tissue damage. Alright so first off, type III hypersensitivity reactions are mediated by immune complexes.
Immune complexes, aka antigenantibody complexes are made of two partsthe antigen and the antibody. Antibodies, sometimes called immunoglobulins, are produced by plasma cells, which are basically fully matured and differentiated B cells. Initially these cells make IgM which can be secreted or bound to the plasma cell surface where it acts as a B cell receptor. When a B cell undergoes crosslinking of two surface bound IgMs, it then takes up the antigen and presents a piece of it to T helper cells via t cell receptor to the MHC class II molecule.
Presenting the piece of antigen, along with costimulatory molecule cd4. the b cells CD40 also binds to the T cells CD40 ligand, and then the t cell releases cytokines, which results in b cell activation and class switching, or isotype switching, where it changes the type of antibodies it makes. In type III hypersensitivity reactions, typically B cells will switch from making IgM to making IgG antibodies. Now remember that all antibodies are specific, right? Meaning that they recognize specific.
Molecules called antigens, the second part of immune complexes. antigens can come in all sorts of flavors, some float around in the blood by themselves, and are soluble, but some are bound to cell surfaces. Immune complexes are formed when antibodies bind to soluble antigens. Antibodies can also target antigens on cell surfaces, but these are not considered immune complexes. This is the first major distinction between type II hypersensitivity reactions, which involve antibodies binding to antigens on cell surfaces, and type III.
Hypersensitivity reactions, which involve immune complexes with soluble antigens. A good example of a type III Hypersensitivity is the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus, also just called lupus. In lupus, the IgG antibodies are typically specific for DNA and nucleoproteins, both of which are part of your own cells, making them selfreactive. Normally, your body should only react to things that are foreign or notself. And this is maintained by a process known as tolerance where only nonselfreactive B and T cells.
Are allowed to mature, whereas selfreactive b and t cells arent. this process, though, isnt perfect and sometimes, some selfreactive cells escape, and these can mount an immune response against autoantigens or selfantigens. With lupus, a DNA autoantigen may get released from a damaged cell where a circulating selfB cell might find it and bind to it. If a T helper cell that is also specific for the same DNA autoantigen is close by, it will help activate the B cell and enable it to differentiate into an IgG secreting machine.
Specific to that dna autoantigen. now what? well, first off, there may be lots of this DNA autoantigen around since DNA is in most human cells, right? Which allows a lot of IgGDNA autoantigen complexes to form. Now, if this were an infection, there would be lots of antibodies surrounding a large single microbe which marks it for destruction by macrophages and other phagocytes. But in this case, the antibodies are trying to bind a small, soluble antigen and there may be a lot of antigen relative to the number of antibodies.
Small antigenantibody complexes are less immunogenic meaning theyre less attractive to the macrophages, and they dont get removed from the bloodstream as quickly. As a result, the immune complexes float around in the blood longer, and typically make their way into the basement membrane layer of various blood vessels. To understand why do that remember that DNA is cationic, meaning positively charged. So the cationic antigenantibody complexes are attracted to the negatively charged basement membrane of blood vessels. At this point,.