Functions of the Spleen in Immunity

Presidential Address

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  • Department of Microbiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
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First of all, I should like to express my feeling of honor and pleasure in serving as President of your Society during the past year. I wish also to express my great appreciation to those who have done the real work: the Council, the various appointed committees of the Society, and especially our Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Larsh. It has been a pleasure to be associated with each of them.

In selecting the subject for my presidential address, I hope you will not miss the broad philosophical coverage achieved by the past three presidents but will be content with a more restricted research objective. The spleen, lymph nodes and probably all lymphatic tissue possess unique phagocytic, cytopoietic and antibody-forming capacities which are functional in immunity. Today I should like to summarize certain aspects of these functions as they relate to the spleen. Most of my examples will be taken from my own work and that of my coworkers over the past 30 years.