Studies on the Precipitin Reaction: Precipitating Haptens; Species Differences in Antibodies
After moving to Columbia University, Heidelberger turned his focus to studying the chemical nature of antibodies, mainly attempting
to prove that they were proteins. As such, Heidelberger surmised that using polysaccharide antigens of pneumococcus that
he had identified with Oswald T. Avery would be perfect experimental agents, for any nitrogen present in the precipitate would
be a chemical constituent of the antibody (proteins contain nitrogen, pneumococcal polysaccharides do not). Unfortunately,
the low molecular weight of pneumococcal haptens (small molecules, not antigenic by themselves, that can react with antibodies
of appropriate specificity and elicit the formation of such antibodies when attached to a larger antigenic molecule, such
as a polysaccharide or protein) made it difficult to find a serum in which to conduct experiments, as the rabbit serum that
immunologists universally used at the time did not properly react to such small quantities of hapten. In this article, Kendall
and Heidelberger proposed that horse serum might be more suitable because horses appeared to form antibodies in reaction to
type III pneumococcal haptens even when the haptens were present in minute quantities.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
7 (556,928 Bytes)
1933-03 (March 1933)
Kendall, Forrest E.
Periodical: Heidelberger, Michael, and Forrest E. Kendall. "Studies on the Precipitin Reaction: Precipitating Haptens; Species Differences
in Antibodies." Journal of Experimental Medicine 57, 3 (March 1933): 373-379. Article. 7 Images.
[Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research]
Reproduced from the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1933, 57, 373-379 by copyright permission of the Rockefeller University
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Antigens and Antibodies: Heidelberger and The Rise of Quantitative Immunochemistry, 1928-1954