Immunology Notes

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Western University
Microbiology and Immunology
Microbiology and Immunology 3300B
Rodney Dekoter

Immunology NotesOct 1112 Organ transplantation The scientific understanding of immunological tolerance started with the field of clinical organ transplantation In the 1930s the dogma was that human organ transplantation was impossible because the basis of individuality lay deep within every cell in the body These beliefs were based on the work of Sir Peter Medawar If cells from one experimental animal are injected into a second they will be recognized and destroyed by the immune system resistance of host to graft The second time they are injected they will be recognized and destroyed more rapidly However if cells from an experimental animal are injected into a newborn recipient not only are they not destroyed but for the rest of its life that animal will not recognize or destroy cells from the donor animal This is called immunological tolerance Kidney transplantation In the 1940s doctors began performing kidneys transplants despite the dogma because the procedure had clinical benefit to the recipients at least temporarily Kidney grafts never lasted more than three months as a consequence of immunological rejection The transplanted kidneys were completely destroyed The immune system was attacking them and the kidneys were infiltrated with T and B cells In 1954 Joseph Murray performed a kidney transplant on identical twins He realized that the twins genetic identity should result in immunological tolerance to the transplanted kidney The patient survived longterm He also did transplants on fraternal twins and cadavers These clinical procedures preceded the understanding of rejection The HLA antigens Injection of blood cells from one individual into another caused an immune response to the injected cells including generation of specific antibodies Therefore without knowing what they were the antigens were called human leukocyte antigens HLA The HLA genes were first discovered through antigenic differences between white blood
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