The immune system is made up of cells and chemicals that fight infection or microbes that enter the body. B- and T-lymphocytes, also known as a memory cell, keep a record of every microbe that it has ever defeated.

This means that once the microbe enters the body again, the immune system can quickly destroy the microbes before it can multiply and make the host sick.

However, in response to an unknown trigger, the immune system begins to produce antibodies that perceive other cells and tissues in the body as a threat and attack them. This is what autoimmune disorders do to the human body.

Although some of them, such as allergies, can sometimes be treated, several autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) remains incurable.

Stopping the Immune System From Attacking the Body's Cells

According to the researchers, their new study shows how to stop the immune system from attacking the body's cells- or nerves in the case of multiple sclerosis. They give the immune system an ever-increasing doses of the same molecule that it is attacking.

They have taken it a step further to show how this process works in the white blood cells. They revealed the complex mechanisms that made the switch of T-cells from one that attacks cells of autoimmune disease into something that protects it. They also learned how to make reactive T-cells tolerant.

The researchers were able to develop T-cells that can recognize different parts of the molecules made by antigens. The T-cells then start to multiply in order to attack the invaders.

This means that T-cells went from being in a resting state to a highly activated state by switching immune response, which helps them attack pathogens.

So when a person gets cured of the infection, these T-cells become memory T-cells giving the person a lifelong immunity.

In autoimmune diseases, T-cell starts to develop myelin basic protein, as an insulating coating that surrounds nerve cells, as an antigen. They attack the nervous system, which makes MS sufferers lose control over their muscles. This is where the new study comes in, as they try to correct this.

Read Also: [WATCH] Scientists Develop 'Nanosponges' That Attract and Neutralize Coronavirus to Render Them Ineffective

T-cells Become Less Reactive

In their study, the authors found that T-cells became less reactive after being exposed to gradually increasing doses of the myelin basic protein. This progressive exposure made them weaker and converted them from attacking to protecting.

This switch happened because the immune system is regulated by two types of genes that tell it to attack and silences it to stop going out of control.

Repetitive exposure to the myelin basic protein allowed T-cells to remember to inhibit its receptor from attacking when they encountered that same specific myelin basic protein fragment. When inhibitory genes weakened the signal inside the T-cells, they would also stop receiving the signal telling them to attack nerve cells.

Presently, autoimmune diseases are treated using immunosuppressive drugs. However, using these drugs make the patient more prone to cancers and other infections as they suppress the whole immune system.

Trials using antigen therapy are already underway on patients with MS and Grave's disease. Short-term preliminary clinical trials showed both diseases started to have positive results.

Read more: Coronavirus Has Gone Through 6 Mutations Since January Suggesting Vaccine Development May Become a Cyclical Work: Study