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ANALYSIS OF THE HISTOCOMPATIBIUTY COMPLEX JOY L. WARE* The histocompatibility complex (HC) arises from the individual's inability to distinguish self from non-self. Because the HC overshadows both the Oedipus complex and the inferiority complex as the major cause of discomfort among immunologists, further investigation of this disorder is imperative. In this analysis, the histocompatibility complex is discussed in terms of symptoms, treatment, and contemporary diagnostic developments. Symptoms Individuals susceptible to the histocompatibility complex typically fail to react to the environment as foreign, not exhibiting healthy paranoia when confronted with skin transplants or a piece of someone's mind. Being tolerant, they will accept anything. However, a minority will become hypersensitive after repeated insults. As the syndrome progresses, the patient begins to have delusions of grafting, believing that he has been transplanted onto someone else. At the pinnacle of self-criticism, the individual develops an autoimmune disease and rejects himself. Genetic evidence and biochemical evidence demonstrate that everyone has a histocompatibility complex, but only certain persons manifest these disturbing symptoms. The pathological expressions of the HC appear to develop in the presence of both suppressive and helpful environments . Treatment There is no cure for this disorder. Symptoms can be reduced by daily recitation of the patient's HLA (histocompatibility-linked antigen) type to reassure the patient ofhis identity. Approximately 10 percent ofthese ?Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.© 1982 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0031-5982/83/2601-0321$01.00 62 I Joy L. Ware · Histocompatibility Complex patients must actually sequence their own HLA antigens to obtain partial relief, which at least keeps them occupied. One investigator has reported that dream interpretation serves as a therapeutic adjuvant during the treatment of these patients [I]. However , this approach has not received confirmation. Diagnostic Developments The development of an extensive panel of monoclonal antibodies directed toward histocompatibility antigens may provide specific probes for the recognition of the histocompatibility complex during the asymptomatic early phases ofthe disease. Therapeutic intervention may be possible with these sensitive antibodies, which may be able to modulate the expression of the histocompatibility complex. Meanwhile, we must revise previous statements that the histocompatibility complex is linked with a variety of diseases. The evidence cited in this paper suggests that the histocompatibility complex ¿s a disease. REFERENCE 1. Freund, S. Symbolism inthe histocompatibilitycomplex./. Analysis 2:35, 1978. NOBLESSE The pleasure of being a chloroplast And notjust a leuco- or chromoplast Comes in resting at night As a well-deserved right For feeding the rest of the protoplast. Trevor Robinson Perspectives in Biology and Mediane, 26, 1 · Autumn 1982 | 63 ...


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