Collagen disease

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Collagen disease
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Collagen disease is a term previously used to describe systemic autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis), but now is thought to be more appropriate for diseases associated with defects in collagen, which is a component of the connective tissue.[ citation needed ]


The term "collagen disease" was coined by Dr. Alvin F. Coburn in 1932, on his quest to discover streptococcal infection as the cause for rheumatic fever. [1]

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Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix found in the body's various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids bound together to form a triple helix of elongated fibril known as a collagen helix. It is mostly found in connective tissue such as cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin.

Connective tissue Type of biological tissue in animals

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A connective tissue disease (collagenosis) is any disease that has the connective tissues of the body as a target of pathology. Connective tissue is any type of biological tissue with an extensive extracellular matrix that supports, binds together, and protects organs. These tissues form a framework, or matrix, for the body, and are composed of two major structural protein molecules: collagen and elastin. There are many different types of collagen protein in each of the body's tissues. Elastin has the capability of stretching and returning to its original length—like a spring or rubber band. Elastin is the major component of ligaments and skin. In patients with connective tissue disease, it is common for collagen and elastin to become injured by inflammation (ICT). Many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal immune system activity with inflammation in tissues as a result of an immune system that is directed against one's own body tissues (autoimmunity).

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Collagen alpha-2(XI) chain is a protein that in humans is encoded by the COL11A2 gene.

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Spindle cell sarcoma

Spindle cell sarcoma is a type of connective tissue cancer in which the cells are spindle-shaped when examined under a microscope. The tumors generally begin in layers of connective tissue such as that under the skin, between muscles, and surrounding organs, and will generally start as a small lump with inflammation that grows. At first the lump will be self-contained as the tumor exists in its stage 1 state, and will not necessarily expand beyond its encapsulated form. However, it may develop cancerous processes that can only be detected through microscopic examination. As such, at this level the tumor is usually treated by excision that includes wide margins of healthy-looking tissue, followed by thorough biopsy and additional excision if necessary. The prognosis for a stage 1 tumor excision is usually fairly positive, but if the tumors progress to levels 2 and 3, prognosis is worse because tumor cells have likely spread to other locations. These locations can either be nearby tissues or system-wide locations that include the lungs, kidneys, and liver. In these cases prognosis is grim and chemotherapy and radiation are the only methods of controlling the cancer.

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Sclerosis (medicine) Medical condition

Sclerosis is the stiffening of a tissue or anatomical feature, usually caused by a replacement of the normal organ-specific tissue with connective tissue. The structure may be said to have undergone sclerotic changes or display sclerotic lesions, which refers to the process of sclerosis.

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  1. Coburn, Alvin (1974). Commitment Total. United States of America: Walker and Company. pp. 54, xi. ISBN   0-8027-0449-2.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document: "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".