The Precipitin Reaction between Type III Pneumococcus Polysaccharide and Homologous Antibody: III. A Quantitative Study and
a Theory of the Reaction Mechanism
In this important article, Heidelberger and Kendall presented their quantitative theory of the precipitin reaction, from which
they drew the conclusion that both antigens and antibodies were multivalent, meaning that they could form more than one bond
with one another. (Scientists subsequently established that antibodies have two binding sites, while antigens can have several
dozen.) This was important, as many immunologists of the time argued that antibodies were univalent, that they could bind
in only one place to an antigen. Heidelberger and Kendall's findings suggested that antibodies can combine with antigens
at widely differing ratios, an essential fact in evaluating the effectiveness of antisera in fighting disease.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
29 (2,277,580 Bytes)
1935-04 (April 1935)
Kendall, Forrest E.
Periodical: Heidelberger, Michael, and Forrest E. Kendall. "The Precipitin Reaction between Type III Pneumococcus Polysaccharide and
Homologous Antibody: III. A Quantitative Study and a Theory of the Reaction Mechanism." Journal of Experimental Medicine
61, 4 (April 1935): 563-591. Article. 29 Images.
[Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research]
Reproduced from the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1935, 4, 563-591 by copyright permission of the Rockefeller University
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Antigens and Antibodies: Heidelberger and The Rise of Quantitative Immunochemistry, 1928-1954