chapter  Chapter 9
16 Pages

Immunologic Tolerance

WithConstantin A. Bona, Francisco A. Bonilla

We do not normally generate immune responses against the multitude of antigens within our bodies, yet we respond vigorously to those in the environment and from other organisms (or humans) which may differ only subtly from our own. Our immune systems “tolerate” the many immunogens which comprise us. Tolerance is a condition of antigen-specific immunologic unresponsiveness. Tolerance must be distinguished from the non-specific unresponsiveness of immunodeficiency, the antigen-specific unresponsiveness determined by Ir genes (see Chapter 8), or the transient antigen unresponsiveness induced by continual administration of large amounts of antigen (pseudotolerance or immunologic paralysis, see below).