Pernicious Anemia

Autoimmune gastritis, leading to pernicious anemia, is a chronic disease characterized by atrophic gastritis and circulating parietal cell antibodies. Autoantigens have been identified as thea and B subunits of the gastric proton pump protein (Gleeson and Toh, 1991). Most patients with the disease form antibodies to the parietal cell components and intrinsic factor produced by parietal cells (Kaye, 1987). Complement lysis of parietal cells causes atrophic gastritis. In addition, antibody neutralization of the intrinsic factor activity prevents intestinal adsorption of vitamin B12 that is necessary for hematopoiesis. Abnormal hema-topoiesis and megaloblastic anemia occur because of the vitamin deficiency.

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