INTRODUCTION Investigations by Gorer, and later by Medawar and his colleagues, demonstrated the inimtmological nature of the allograft response (Medawar 1954). However, the violence of the reaction seen when tissues were exchanged between animals differing at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of the genome was somewhat surprising, and gave rise to questions concerning the evolutionary origin of this response (Thomas 1959). In recent years attention has again been focused on the MHC of spedes with the accumulation of evidence that immune response (Ir) genes, genes that play a role in T-B cell collaboration, and genes that influence the specificity of cytotoxic T cells are also closely associated with the MHC of species (see Cunningham & Lafferty 1977). This association is seen in all species so far studied and therefore is unlikely to be a fortuitous relationship. Thus any attempt to answer the basic question concerning the origin of the allograft response must also consider why the regulation of immunoiogicai function (T cell function) is also controlled by genetic factors associated with the MHC. Thomas' explanation of the allograft response was that this immune function evolved to recognize tumor antigens expressed by transformed cells that posed a threat to
Immunological Reviews – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1977
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