The Roles of T and B Lymphocytes in Self-Tolerance and Autoimmunity

  • A. C. Allison


Ehrlich (1906), with his usual perceptiveness, drew attention to the remarkable fact that although vertebrates can readily be immunized with cells or body fluids from other animals they do not as a rule make antibodies against their own tissue constituents. He termed the phenomenon “horror autotoxus,” but was unable to advance any satisfactory explanation for it. While developing the clonal selection theory of immunity, Burnet (1959) postulated that autoantigens (“self” antigens) are either secluded from the immune system or that clones of lymphocytes exposed to autoantigens early in the course of ontogenetic development are eliminated or inactivated. Autoimmunity was thought to follow the proliferation of “forbidden clones” of lymphocytes with specificity for autoantigens.


Human Serum Albumin Spleen Cell Antibody Formation Normal Human Subject Thymus Cell 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Allison
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Research Centre HarrowMiddlesexEngland

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