DEBATE: Immune Networks

Thu Nov 17 13:49:38 EST 1994

In article <3adfp6$g8k at>, kesmir at (Can Kesmir) says:
>Therefore I would like to start a debate about the existence of
>immune networks. Please write your meaning about them with a
>little bit of reasoning.
>By the way I believe in that immune networks exist, because
>otherwise I am not able to explain the existence of autoantibodies
>together with unspecific immune responce and many others ...
     Generation of diversity (GOD) in Immunologically Competetent Cells results
in cells of unique specificity.  If this specificity is not eliminated during
the process of "education" (thymic, or elsewhere), then that specificity
becomes part of "self". The education of future ICCs should then be with
respect to a self-image which includes the specificities of previously
generated ICCs. For this reason, I am not convinced by immune network ideas.
Only ICCs of very low specificity against previous ICCs would be tolerated by
the education process. Thus, it might be possible for networks to arise, but
the specificities would be so low as, perhaps, not to be very important.
Autoantibodies arise because sometimes the learning process goes wrong. The
existance of autoantibodies does not prove that networks are an important
feature of normal immune responses.
                                  Sincerely, Don Forsdyke
                                             Discussion Leader. Bionet.immunol.

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