Skeletal muscle can be both the site and target of immune reactions. Here, Reinhard Hohlfeld and Andrew Engel consider the role of muscle as an immunological microenvironment and discuss the immunological properties of human muscle cells. Furthermore, they provide a brief overview of autoimmune diseases of muscle and of other conditions in which intramuscular immune reactions play a role. Finally, they discuss the immunological problems of novel gene therapies that rely on muscle cells as vehicles for gene transfer.
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