Immunologic tolerance: collaboration between antigen and lymphokines

Science  14 Jul 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4914, pp. 147-153
DOI: 10.1126/science.2526369


Immunologic tolerance is the process whereby limits are placed on the degree to which lymphocytes respond to an animal's inherent antigens. It is a quantitative rather than an absolute term, as some autoantibody formation is common. Contrary to early hopes, it is not due to some single, simple causative mechanism confined to early developmental stages of the fetal immune system. Rather, self-tolerance results from a variety of complementary mechanisms and feedback loops in the immune system and is thus best seen as part of the general process of immunoregulation.