Theories of Immune Networks

  • Henri Atlan
  • Irun R. Cohen
Conference proceedings

Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 46)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VIII
  2. Introduction to Immune Networks

    1. H. Atlan, I. R. Cohen
      Pages 1-3
  3. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. J. Urbain, G. Urbain-Vansanten, D. De Wit
      Pages 13-23
  4. Part II

  5. Part III

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 117-117

About these proceedings


For a long time, immunology has been dominated by the idea of a simple linear cause-effect relationship between the exposure to an antigen and the production of specific antibodies against that antigen. Clonal selection was the name of the theory based on this idea and it has provided the main concepts to account for the known features of the immune response. More recently, immunologists have discovered a wealth of new facts, in the form of different regulatory cells (helpers, suppressors, antigen presenting cells), genetic determinations of immune responses such as those involved in graft re­ jections, different molecular structures responsible for intercellular interactions such as interleukins, cytokins, idiotype-antiidiotype recognition and others. While furthering our understanding of the local interactions (molecular and cellular) in­ volved in the immune response, these discoveries have led to a questioning of the simplicities of the classical clonal selection theory. It is clear today that every single immune response is a cooperative phenomenon involving several different molecular and cellular interactions taking place in a coupled manner. In addition, cross reactivity to different antigens has shown that responses of the whole im­ mune system to different antigens are not completely isolated from one another and that the history of encounters with different antigens plays a crucial role in the maturation of the whole system. Thus, problems of complexity, generation of di­ versity and self-organization have entered the field of immunology.


Antigen Immunology Learning Networks Neural Nets cells lymphocytes receptor

Editors and affiliations

  • Henri Atlan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irun R. Cohen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical BiophysicsHadassah University HospitalJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Faculté de Médecine, Broussait-Hotel DieuUniversité de Paris VIParisFrance
  3. 3.The Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-83937-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-83935-1
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-7389
  • Buy this book on publisher's site