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March 9, 1963

Factors Involved in Homograft Tolerance

JAMA. 1963;183(10):857-858. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700100009013b

FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE of Billingham et al,1 it has been possible to produce acquired tolerance of homologous tissues between many strains of mice in the newborn period. It is accepted that the rejection of homografts is an immunological reaction mediated by cells derived from the reticuloendothelial system. Tolerance is most easily produced in fetal life or in the newborn period when the animal is still immunologically immature. The greater the genetic disparity between graft and host, the more difficult it is to produce tolerance. The larger the antigen dose, the more readily tolerance is effected.

Owen's2 model of the dizygotic twin cattle, who throughout life each circulated red blood cell genotypes derived from both partners, led Burnet and Fenner3 to postulate that an animal challenged with antigen during fetal life prior to development of immunological competence would thereafter be unable to respond to further challenge with