MYC, FAS, Apoptosis, and Immune Tolerance
The problem of immunological tolerance, the apparent ability of the immune system to discriminate between self and “nonself” is almost as old as the field of immunology. Arguably, Ehrlich’s description of the phenomenon and the ensuing belief that it is a fundamental attribute of the immune system delayed the recognition of the existence of autoimmune disease until the 1950’s (1). However, once it was realized that the immune system could respond to self molecules, the idea that self/nonself discrimination was “learned” (and therefore potentially fallible) came into vogue. It is therefore likely that this recognition prompted the appearance of models of immune tolerance, and served as the impetus for the development of the clonal selection theory (2,3). The application of this theory to explain tolerance through the deletion of potentially autoreactive cells as proposed by Burnet (3,4) persist in almost unchanged form today.
KeywordsNegative Selection Immune Tolerance Clonal Deletion Immature Thymocyte Clonal Selection Theory
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