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August 25, 1962


JAMA. 1962;181(8):721. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050340059013

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Autoimmunization at present represents a field of scientific investigation in which the pendulum of scientific opinion is far from a standstill. Essentially 2 issues are involved: (1) the production of autoantibodies, and (2) the pathogenic role of autoimmune responses. The search for autoantibodies, i.e., antibodies combining with the antigens present in the antibody producer, is almost as old as the science of immunology. Here, at one extreme were investigators who completely denied the possibility of autoantibody production, while at the other extreme were those expressing the belief that antibodies may be produced against any autologous antigen. A great deal of substantial information collected through several decades indicates that the truth lies between these extremes (p. 706). There are organ-specific antigens occurring, for instance, in lens, brain, thyroid, and spermatozoa, against which autoantibodies may be produced at will in experimental animals provided proper immunization procedures are employed. On the other hand,

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