"Immunity" Up-Ended?

Dr M.R. Clark mrc7 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Mon Apr 10 12:05:15 EST 1995

In article <3m9r78$i9h at jhunix1.hcf.jhu.edu>,
Ephraim Fuchs <ejf at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> wrote:
>In article <3m0jtb$rtp at lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
>Dr M.R. Clark <mrc7 at cus.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>I am certainly very supportive of Polly's ideas. Although we have in the past
>>tended to talk in terms of self versus non-self descrimination it is perfectly
>>obvious that there is a lot of non-self that we fail to react to. I find it
>>much easier to try and think of the immune system as attempting to tell
>>harmful from non-harmful.
>For the sake of posterity it should be noted that Polly got her ideas on 
>this subject from me.  I was the first to propose that the immune system 
>is geared to react to tissue damage, not specifically to nonself (ref. 
>Immunology Today, May, 1993).
>Ephraim Fuchs
Thank you for pointing out your letter in IT page 236 volume 14. I have
looked at this issue frequently but had not previously noticed your letter.
(I have a major interest in Fc receptors which is a major theme of the issue).
Your arguments are very interesting and again I agree with the idea that
self/non-self is less important than harmful/non-harmful.
This is clearly an important issue with regard to how we think about the
immune system and also with regard to how it is represented in most text

  o/ \\    //            ||  ,_ o   Mike Clark, mrc7 at cam.ac.uk
 <\__,\\  //   __o       || /  /\,  Cambridge University, Dept. Pathology
  ">    ||   _`\<,_    //  \\ \> |  "to pay for my hobbies I have to teach
   `    ||  (_)/ (_)  //    \\ \_   immunology and engineer antibodies :-)"

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