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June 20, 1980

Immunology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Author Affiliations

Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland, Ohio


edited by Peter Asquith, 348 pp, with illus, $39.50, New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1970.

JAMA. 1980;243(23):2443. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300490061036

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This book is the best text presently available for those seriously interested in the rapidly expanding field of gastrointestinal (GI) immunology. Human studies are emphasized, and current data and comprehensive references provided. The title precisely describes the focus, since there are no sections on liver immunology.

The volume consists of two parts: the first contains three chapters describing certain basic mechanisms of immune responses; the second deals with clinical conditions where immunologically mediated phenomena may be involved in pathogenesis. Those with little background in basic immunology will have difficulty understanding the first three chapters. Part one would have served those readers better by including a review of basic concepts of organization of the general immune system. A picture describing the intestinal distribution, circulation, and homing patterns of immunocompetent cells would enhance comprehension of the relationships between intestinal and systemic immune events.

Among the chapters dealing with clinical entities, particularly interesting