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Letter from Linus Pauling to Karl Landsteiner. August 15, 1941.
Pauling describes precipitates formed by resorcinol and phloroglucinol during serological experiments by Campbell and Pressman. He discusses Dr. Addis' desire to perform antibody and immunological research on animals in order to study nephritis, requesting that Landsteiner inform him of any existing research regarding similar experiments.


August 15, 1941

Dr. Karl Landsteiner

The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research

66th Street and York Avenue

New York, New York

Dear Dr. Landsteiner:

I have nothing much new to report regarding our serological experiments. Dr. Dan Campbell is now back at work here, and he and Dr. Pressman are beginning to obtain some new results. One result of interest is the analysis of a precipitate formed by substances like resorcinol or phloroglucinol with two attached groups. These precipitates all have the molecular ratio of antibody to antigen equal approximately to one, which indicates strongly that the antibodies are bivalent, since the antigens are bivalent.

I have just returned from a stay at the Stanford University Hospital with Dr. Thomas Addis. I learned from him that he thinks that nephritis following scarlet fever or other infection is perhaps the result of some abnormality in immunological mechanism. I asked if anyone had ever observed the incidents of nephritis or similar kidney damage in rabbits or other experimental animals after injection with ordinary antigens or with azoproteins. He thought that no such observation had been reported, but he felt that it would be wise to ask you about this. There is no good way of inducing nephritis in animals at present, and if Addis is right in thinking that the immunological mechanism is responsible and if also it is found possible to produce nephritis by injection of antigens, a study of this phenomenon might well lead to some significant results with regards to the proper treatment of scarlet fever patients to avoid subsequent nephritis. With best regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling

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