Self/Not-self Discrimination: the basics

Mon Jul 20 16:16:01 EST 1992

Question raised in my original posting:

>>    (ii) List possible mechanisms of self discrimination WITHIN
>>         organisms. (The latter may be subdivided into EXTRACELLULAR
>>         self/not-self discrimination, which is what most immunologists
>>         are familiar with, and INTRACELLULAR self/not-self discrimina-
>>         tion, which is more controversial.)

  Shiv Prasad responds to my request for a list of possible mechanisms of
self/not-self discrimination with a list of systems and much head scratching.

     (i) an experimental autoimmune system (uveoretinitis).
    (ii) aggregation of red and green sponges, like with like.
   (iii) bacterial restriction enzymes.
    (iv) transgene expression in the pancreas.

One approach is to extract from these (and other) systems, some common
elements. A good starting point would be (iii) on the grounds of
simplicity, ...then (ii). With the resulting answers, we might be in
a better position to ponder (i) and devise experiments using techniques
similar to those in (iv).

    Anyone care to set the ball rolling?


              Don Forsdyke. Discussion Leader

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