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AIDS. Pathogenesis and Treatment

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BOOK REVIEWS 335 HUMAN IMMUNOGENETICS. BASIC PRINCIPLES AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE. Edited by Stephen D. Litwin. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1989. 828 pp. $150.00. Human Immunogenetics is one of 46 volumes in a continuing series of books related to specific topics in immunology. This lengthy volume is divided into five major areas of immunogenetics: experimental approaches to immunogenetics, genetics of immu- nology, the major histocompatibility complex, tumor and viral antigens, and blood and serum components. All chapters are introduced with a basic review of historically important literature, but the subject matter soon changes to sophisticated discussion of specific topics. Classic experiments in Mendelian genetics, Landsteiner blood group antigens, and cellular immunology provide a foundation for descriptions of recent advances in these fields. The text then describes the molecular biology of the immune system, including the genetic regulation of the maturation of lymphocytes and their cell surface receptors (e.g., alpha/beta and gamma/delta T-cell receptors and class I and II gene products). A review of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) pervades most chapters and is sometimes redundant, though illustrations of MHC products are not provided until halfway through the text. Sections describing immunoglobulin genes and their function are as detailed as can be found in any textbook. An entire chapter is devoted to immunoglobulin gene structure and the recombination events leading to mature heavy and light chain immunoglobulin responses. This chapter precedes a related discussion of immunoglo- bulin allotypes and their association with specific diseases. HLA-associated diseases and sections detailing tumor and viral immunogenetics are also a strength of this book. The statistical association of MHC class I and class II antigens with such diseases as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis is discussed in great detail. Included in this

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