Horror autotoxicus, the "fear of self-intoxication", is what the physician Paul Ehrlich called a mechanism he presumed to exist in order to protect the human body from producing substances harmful to itself, thus leading to tissue damage. And still today, a hundred years later, it appears puzzling and hard to believe that an organism attacks itself. But since the mid 20th century we definitely know that there are illnesses which are caused by such an attack against the body’s own structures. These disorders are targeted against the "self", own tissues and cells, and hence are called autoimmune diseases (auto = self, own). Why and how these processes happen is not entirely understood.
RELENT is addressing some of these pivotal questions in order to better understand the common mechanisms of these diseases and to develop better and individualised treatments.