Splitting the difference: the germline-somatic mutation debate on generating antibody diversity

Nat Immunol. 2003 Sep;4(9):829-33. doi: 10.1038/ni0903-829.


In the debate about the mechanism for the generation of immunological diversity, the initial positions of both 'somaticists' and 'germliners' were diametrically opposed. Then, as data developed favoring first one and then the other side, concessions were made, until the final solution showed that each had been at least partially correct.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergy and Immunology / history*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Diversity / genetics
  • Antibody Diversity / immunology*
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / immunology*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes