The enticing network: Fiction forever


As discussed in chapter 7, in the early 1970s immunologists felt that a novel theory of adaptive immunity was badly needed. A first attempt was made in 1970 by Bretscher and Cohn, the “associative recognition” or “two-signal” hypothesis1. The citation rates indicate a growing attention until 1974 when Jerne launched his network theory2.Thereafter, Jerne’s citation rates rapidly rose to impressive levels, with an anti-parallel drop of that of the two-signal hypothesis to near insignificance. Only after the decline of the network paradigm, as of 1990, citation rates of the two-signal hypothesis recovered to intermediate levels which are maintained until recently (chapter 9, Fig. 9.4).


Network Theory Citation Rate Network Concept Associative Recognition Internal Image 
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Chapter 17 References

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    Bretscher P, Cohn M (1970) A theory of self-nonself discrimination. Science 169: 1042PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Jerne NK (1974) Towards a network theory of the immune system. Ann Immunol (Inst. Pasteur) 125 C: 373Google Scholar
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    Söderquist T (2003) Science as autobiography, the troubled life of Niels Jerne. Yale University Press, New Haven, LondonGoogle Scholar
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    Koprowski H (1985) Unconventional vaccines: immunization with anti-idiotype antibody against viral diseases. Cancer Res 45: 4689–4690Google Scholar
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    Herlyn D, Ross AH, Iliopoulos D, Koprowski H (1987) Induction of specific immunity to human colon carcinoma by anti-idiotypic antibodies to monoclonal antibody CO17-1A. Eur J Immunol 17: 1649–1652PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Schnurr I (ed) (1982) Idiotypes, antigens on the inside. Editiones <Roche>, BaselGoogle Scholar
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    Coutinho A (1980) The self-nonself discrimination and the nature and acquisition of the antibody repertoire. Ann Immunol (Paris) 131D: 235–253Google Scholar
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    Keating P, Cambrosio A (1997) Helpers and suppressors: On fictional characters in immunology. J Hist Biol 30: 381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Golub ES, Green DR (1991) Immunology, a sysnthesis. Sinauer, Sunderland, Mass.Google Scholar

Further reading

  1. Sercarz E, Oki A, Gammon G (1989) Central versus peripheral tolerance: Clonal inactivation versus suppressor T cells, the second half of the ‘thirty years war’. Immunol Suppl 2: 9PubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Birkhäuser Verlag AG 2008

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