network theory

(redirected from network hypothesis)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.

network theory

A theory, advanced by Niels Jerne and Geoffrey Hoffman, that explains the ability of the immune response to regulate itself. According to the theory, lymphocytes form a network of cells bearing idiotypes, each capable of eliciting anti-idiotype antibodies; each “new” antigen disrupts the balance of an immune network by stimulating an antibody response, which then elicits an anti-idiotype-antibody response, followed by further anti-idiotypes, attenuating and eventually quenching the response to bring the system back into balance. Each antigen receptor or idiotype (of either a T or B cell) is capable of evoking the production of anti-idiotypic cells; these cells, or their products, act to downregulate the production of the original idiotype.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, Jerne's Nobel Prize-winning network hypothesis "has provided an expanded theoretical framework that has given direction to much of the current activity in cellular immunology," Karush says.
About 100,000 measurements on yeast were required to construct a predictive network hypothesis.
Both experiements relied on Jerne's network hypothesis -- the idea that the immune system is preprogrammed to be activated by idiotypes, portions of antibodies that control their specificity.
Full browser ?