Network Regulation of the Immune Response
The immune network theory, elaborated by Jerne 15 years ago, has had a fundamental impact on our concepts of immune regulation. This theory depicts the immune system as a network of interacting idiotopes and anti-idiotopes. An idiotype is defined as the set of antigenic determinants, or idiotopes, present at or close to the antigen binding site of an immunoglobulin molecule which is able to elicit an immune response both at the cellular and humoral levels. These structures are encoded by immunoglobulin V-region genes and may be defined serologically. Recent observations suggest an important role of anti-idiotypic antibodies in regulation of the immune response and in the etiology of specific disease states, including allergic conditions. Additionally, considerable interest has been generated by their potential use as vaccines.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-11-01
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