Aug 1, 1989

Immune network theory

Immunological Reviews
A S Perelson


Theoretical ideas have played a profound role in the development of idiotypic network theory. Mathematical models can help in the precise translation of speculative ideas into quantitative predictions. They can also help establish general principles and frameworks for thinking. Using the idea of shape space, criteria were introduced for evaluating the completeness and overlap in the antibody repertoire. Thinking about the distribution of clones in shape space naturally leads to considerations of stability and controllability. An immune system which is too stable will be sluggish and unresponsive to antigenic challenge; one which is unstable will be driven into immense activity by internal fluctuations. This led us to postulate that the immune system should be stable but not too stable. In many biological contexts the development of pattern requires both activation and inhibition but on different spatial scales. Similar ideas can be applied to shape space. The principle of short-range activation and long-range inhibition translates into specific activation and less specific inhibition. Application of this principle in model immune systems can lead to the stable maintenance of non-uniform distributions of clones in shape space. T...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

In Silico
Immune System
Antigenic Specificity
Antigen-Antibody Reactions
Metabolic Inhibition
Entire Immune System
Immunoglobulin Idiotypes

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