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July 1966

Is the Brain "An Immunologically Privileged Site?": III. Studies Based on Homologous Skin Grafts to the Brain and Subcutaneous Tissues *

Author Affiliations

From the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurological Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1966;15(1):62-67. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470130066006

THE CONCEPT of the brain as "an immunologically privileged site" has come about as a result of the investigations of Medawar1 and Greene.2-4 Medawar1 showed that the brain does not respond with the typical "primary or secondary set reaction" histologically when homologous skin is implanted in the cerebrum. Greene2-4 demonstrated that the brain will accept tumor homotransplants or heterotransplants which were rejected when transplanted to other sites under ordinary circumstances. These phenomena and the failure to demonstrate lymphatic channels in the brain have led to the concept that the brain is "an immunologically privileged site."

Scheinberg et al5,6 have subsequently demonstrated that this "immunologic privilege of the brain" appears to be far from perfect. In their initial studies5 they demonstrated a variable acceptance of tumor homotransplants by the brain with rejection of all tumor homotransplants by the subcutaneous tissues. Tumor isotransplants were almost