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Article
September 3, 1960

AUTOANTIBODIES AND RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

JAMA. 1960;174(1):66-67. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030010068016

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Abstract

The harmful action of antibodies administered to an animal which possesses the corresponding antigens was recognized by Bordet in 1898. The injection of serum of a guinea pig immunized with rabbit erythrocytes caused disease and death of the rabbits. The refusal of a sound organism to produce autoantibodies became apparent, and was expressed specifically in 1901 by Ehrlich who coined the famous term horror autotoxicus—the fear of the living organism to produce antibodies harmful to its own tissues. Ehrlich's view has been substantiated basically; however, there is experimental evidence that under natural and experimental conditions antibodies may appear which react in vitro with antigens diverted from the producer of the antibodies. These findings have promoted a steadily increasing number of research projects and speculations on the role of disease-inducing autoantibodies in vivo. Thus a new branch of medicine, immunopathology, has evolved. Certain criteria have been enumerated for the recognition

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