The presence of autoantibodies directed toward host tissue is a hallmark of an autoimmune response. Immunofluorescence assays can be used to detect the presence of autoantibodies. Data from these assays must be interpreted with caution, as antibody titers may decrease with time (Rose and Bhatia, 1995). Tissue-specific, autoreactive T cells should also be demonstrable in an autoimmune response. Proliferation of T cells following exposure to tissue antigens can be used as an in vitro correlate of Thl autoimmunity.
Animals model can also be used to assess the biological significance of the preliminary studies. These models will be discussed in a later chapter.
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