It’s really difficult to understand the research. Here’s another study that links autoimmune disease with autophagy:
Cellular Self Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease
I’m curious about this information, because I thought that autophagy was why fasting and calorie restriction were showing beneficial effects. (See Valter Longo’s research here.)
Here is the information from neurosciencenews:
Summary: A new study reveals how autophagy in certain immune cells can lead to the immune system attacking the central nervous system. The findings have implications for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis.
Autophagy refers to a fundamental recycling process of cells that occurs in yeast, fungi, plants, as well as animals and humans. This process allows cells to degrade their own components and thus activate energy resources to be able to adapt to nutritional needs. In addition, autophagy plays a central role in steering an organism’s immune response. Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part such as the central nervous system in patients with multiple sclerosis.
I’m not sure exactly what this means:
Upon genetically switching off the autophagy protein ATG5 in certain immune cells, the researchers observed significantly lower levels of pathological T cells in the central nervous system of the mice. As a consequence, the animals failed to develop inflammation in the brain and spinal cord comparable with inflammation that develops in multiple sclerosis.
There may be more clues in this study, but I haven’t had time to read it yet: