Recent understanding of the immune system extends beyond the concept of a defense system against pathogens, to a general biological health maintenance system.
This concept, introduced by one of the founders of ImmunArray, is described by the image of the vast array of immune system cells continuously surveying the body to sense changes in the state of its tissues and mount a proper defensive or maintenance response. Enormous amounts of information related to various immunogenic tissue states such as infection, trauma, or neoplasia, are collected, integrated and stored in antibody and lymphocyte repertoires. This information is used by the body for determining the type and grade of immune response needed at each site and at each moment, in wound healing, bone repair, angiogenesis, tissue remodeling, organ regeneration, apoptosis, waste disposal, and various other vital activities.
In auto-immune diseases, changes in the auto-antibody patterns cause and reflect the disease process. For example, auto-antibody profiles reflect the process of cancer development due to the immune system’s sensing of tumor-associated antigens, leading to the well-documented involvement of inflammation in cancer development.
Many other disorders with an inflammatory component, such as atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as rejection of transplanted organs, can also be associated with specific changes in the auto-antibody repertoires.
ImmunArray's technology is based on this broad view of the immune system as a complex, interdependent system, in marked contrast with current auto-antibody measurement systems which measure only one or a few auto-antibodies that interact with antigens known to be directly related to the disease.