Advances in the field of immunology during the last few decades have been startling, provocative, and potentially far reaching. One important phase of this brilliant work has been the concept of "autoimmune disease." This new concept that an organism can develop widespread or localized tissue disease because it has turned on itself with the weapon of hypersensitivity owes its existence to fundamental work begun early in the century during which 2 important observations were made. The first of these was the observation that organs possess serologic specificity. In 1904, Nuttall, injecting serum from various animal species into rabbits, showed that the antibody then produced by each rabbit would distinguish in the precipitin reaction between the serum used to immunize that rabbit and serum from another species. Uhlenhuth noted the first example of true organ specificity, however, when he found that optic lens antigen was specific for the optic lens no
WILHELMJ CM, KIERLAND RR, OWEN CA. Production of Hypersensitivity to Skin in Animals. Arch Dermatol. 1962;86(2):161–182. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590080031005
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