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J Immunol Methods. 1998 Jul 1;216(1-2):117-37.

Self-reactive antibodies (natural autoantibodies) in healthy individuals.

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INSERM U430, Hôpital Broussais and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and CNRS URA 1961, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Antibodies that are present in the serum of healthy individuals in the absence of deliberate immunization with any antigen, are refered to as natural antibodies. A vast majority of natural antibodies react with one or more self antigens and are termed as natural autoantibodies. The importance of natural autoantibodies in immune regulation has long been neglected, since tolerance to self was thought to be primarily dependent on the deletion of autoreactive clones, rather than on peripheral suppressive mechanisms. Clonal deletion and energy cannot account, however, for the prevalence of natural autoreactivity among healthy individuals. It is now well established that autoreactive antibodies and B cells, and autoreactive T cells, are present in healthy individuals, and in virtually all vertebrate species. Autoreactive repertoires are predominantly selected early in ontogeny. Questions pertaining to the role of natural antibodies in the regulation of the immune response and maintenance of immune homeostasis and to the distinction between natural autoreactivity and pathological autoimmunity have not been adequately addressed. Here, we focus on the current knowledge on the physicochemical and functional properties of NAA in man, and the use of NAA for therapeutic intervention. reserved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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