Auto-Anti-Idiotype Production during the Response to Antigen

  • G. Jeanette Thorbecke
  • Gregory W. Siskind


Jerne,(1) building on earlier observations on the existence of idiotypic determinants related to the antigen combining sites of human myeloma proteins(2) and rabbit antibodies,(3) proposed that the immune system is self-regulated by a network of idiotype-anti-idiotype (Id- anti-Id) interactions. Numerous studies have documented biological effects of passively administered heterologous anti-Id consistent with predictions based on the Jerne network hypothesis.(1) An important advance was the observation that anti-Id can be induced in animals which are genetically identical to the donor of the immunizing antibody.(4–6) This was crucial in establishing that this form of autoimmune response can occur. However, the ultimate testing of Jerne’s hypothesis must include the demonstration of spontaneous auto- anti-Id production following antigen administration and a regulatory influence of such autoantibody. Evidence is accumulating that T cells may also express Id-like determinants(7–14) and that VH-restricted receptor-antireceptor circuits are activated during an immune response and serve important regulatory functions. T-T-cell interactions are dealt with in other chapters of this volume. In addition, specific immune B cells are known to induce suppressor activity which is T cell mediated, in some cases shown to be VH-restricted and likely to be anti-Id in specificity(15,16) In most of the reports on suppressor cell circuits, secretion of auto-anti-Id by the B cells is not regarded as the mechanism of suppression. In the present discussion we will focus on humoral auto-anti-Id of which the immunoglobulin nature has been established and we will primarily consider auto-anti-Id produced “spontaneously” during the response to antigen.


Secondary Response Contact Sensitivity Normal Immune Response Antiidiotypic Antibody Idiotypic Antibody 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Jeanette Thorbecke
    • 1
  • Gregory W. Siskind
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Allergy ImmunologyDepartment of Medicine, Cornell University Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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