[Skip to Content]
Sign In
Individual Sign In
Create an Account
Institutional Sign In
OpenAthens Shibboleth
Purchase Options:
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
June 23, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(12):1052-1053. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050250058015

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The process of antibody formation has been a fertile area of speculation, but most of the previous theories have mainly ignored the cellular aspects of this important biological reaction. Today, there is abundant evidence that mitosis, differentiation, and migration of cells may hold much of the secret of this exciting and puzzling form of protein synthesis. Recently Burnet, Talmage, Jerne, and others have tried to fit what is known about antibody formation into a "natural selection" or "clonal selection" theory of antibody formation. In simplest form, this theory states that only certain mesenchymal cells having chemical groups which match a given antigen, "A," are stimulated to proliferate when "A" is administered. The progeny of these cells can then respond more quickly and in greater numbers when the same antigen is administered after a considerable period has elapsed. It is possible to use this theory to explain many of the phenomena