What is it about?

In order to understand how antibodies work we need to look at the whole system of antibody generation and function. This is a daunting task as there are billions of different antibodies, billions of different targets and the strength of interactions between these span several orders of magnitude. The model we propose in this paper places interactions between antibodies and target antigens in a thermodynamic space, the interactions forming a network in this space. This approach suggests that natural antibodies from a tightly knit network and that these antibodies are the result of a response against immunological self.

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Why is it important?

We think that by devising a virtual space and a network to represent the humoral immune system we will be able to simulate the complex interactions that provide physiological, protective or pathogenic immunity.

Perspectives

I have been trying to understand immunity as a system, in its complexity, since my group started to work with highly multiplex technologies (antigen microarrays) 10 years ago. While most groups used this technology to identify the targets of antibodies, creating long lists, antibody profiles, we took a different path. We examined a limited number of interactions but with greater depth. This lead to the insights forming the basis of this and the accompanying article. I plan to write two more papers explaining the properties of this interaction space and network, looking into the space from different perspectives.

József Prechl
Diagnosticum

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A generalized quantitative antibody homeostasis model: antigen saturation, natural antibodies and a quantitative antibody network, Clinical & Translational Immunology, February 2017, Wiley, DOI: 10.1038/cti.2016.90.
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