DEBATE: Immune Networks

Philip Dore Philip at
Wed Nov 30 17:02:25 EST 1994

In article <3adfp6$g8k at> kesmir at "Can Kesmir" writes:

> Dear everybody, 
> I got many different replies to my last two post concerning
> immune networks and regulation mechanisms. Apparently, there 
> are still many immunologs not believing in immune networks, because
> otherwise our B cells would be too "busy" (!!!!!!!!).

I am an immunologist who does not belive in networks.
However the reason is different.  For a significant antibody response to occur
it is essential that T cells are activated.  This is required for the B cells
to mature  and differentiate into plasma cells. T cells see antigens in a 
significantly different way, they require antigens to be degraded to small chunks
of about 10 amino acids and these are presented to T cells bound to the major 
histocompatability complex. Therefore they have a distinctly differing antigen 
recognition profile to B cells.  Any antibody response is unlikely to generate a
T cell response unless the variable region contained amino acid sequences which
T cells recognised as foreign.  Since T cells are "educated" in an environment
where there are vast amounts of antibodies the likelihood of significant reaction
is low.  Those situations where it does occur may be the reason for autoantibody
production and subsequent autoimmune disease which is well known to have
MHC linkage.  

I have only recently come to this correspondence, if this has
been suggested before and there is a refutation please enlighten me.    

Philip Dore
Dept. Immunology
Royal Hull Hospitals
Philip at

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