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A tolerant immune system

Аuthor: Abikenova Ayazhan

Editor: Кigbaeva Kamila






         The history of the development of immunology is associated with a large number of scientists, the well known is  Mechnikov, Ehrlich and Pasteur. Let me introduce you to the Nobel prize winner Frank MacFarlane Burnet, who started a new stage in the development of immunology.


       The development of immunology as a science is divided into two parts: classical and modern. If the first stage was associated with the discovery of infectious immunity and the development of vaccines against infections, the second stage was associated with the determination of immunological tolerance. In the course of his research, Burnet noticed that in the body, antibodies (blood proteins that eliminate microbial agents) very clearly recognize their own and foreign agents. Consequently, the question was born: "how?". In fact, in addition to bacteria and viruses represented by other people's antigens, humans and animals have their own antigens, for example, antigens on red blood cells (red blood cells). Burnet undertook a detailed study of why the body's immune system does not respond to the production of antibodies to its antigens.


      Along with the many experiments, the most decisive was the experiment conducted in 1953. Burnet and his colleague, English biologist Peter Medawar, introduced a graft (tissue or organ for transplantation) of the bone marrow of black mice to newborn white mice. In the second month of life, the same white mice were transplanted part of the skin of black mice. As a result, rejection did not occur. At least for 10-12 days, while the donor bone marrow was in the body of white mice. As a result, the conclusion was put forward: in the prenatal period, antibody-producing cells recognize "their" antigens, and at the end of the period, these cells fail. And thus the body does not damage itself.



      At the end of his research, Burnet created a clonal-selection theory of immunity and, together with Medawar, received the Nobel prize. Thanks to his discoveries, the mechanism of development of autoimmune diseases became clear.