Linking autoimmunity to the origin of the adaptive immune system

In jawed vertebrates, the adaptive immune system (AIS) cooperates with the innate immune system (IIS) to protect hosts from infections. Although targeting non-self-components, the AIS also generates self-reactive antibodies which, when inadequately counter-selected, can give rise to autoimmune disea...

Authors: Bayersdorf, Robert
Fruscalzo, Arrigo
Catania, Francesco
Document types:Article
Media types:Text
Publication date:2018
Date of publication on miami:14.03.2019
Modification date:16.04.2019
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Subjects:adaptive immune system; innate immune system; natural autoantibodies; self-recognition; pregnancy; immune tolerance
DDC Subject:570: Biowissenschaften; Biologie
License:CC BY 4.0
Language:English
Notes:Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 2018 (2018) 1, 2-12
Funding:Finanziert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2018 der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU Münster).
Format:PDF document
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-15169570498
Permalink:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-15169570498
Other Identifiers:DOI: 10.1093/emph/eoy001
Digital documents:artikel_catania_2018.pdf

In jawed vertebrates, the adaptive immune system (AIS) cooperates with the innate immune system (IIS) to protect hosts from infections. Although targeting non-self-components, the AIS also generates self-reactive antibodies which, when inadequately counter-selected, can give rise to autoimmune diseases (ADs). ADs are on the rise in western countries. Why haven’t ADs been eliminated during the evolution of a ∼500 million-year old system? And why have they become more frequent in recent decades? Self-recognition is an attribute of the phylogenetically more ancient IIS and empirical data compellingly show that some self-reactive antibodies, which are classifiable as elements of the IIS rather then the AIS, may protect from (rather than cause) ADs. Here, we propose that the IIS’s self-recognition system originally fathered the AIS and, as a consequence of this relationship, its activity is dampened in hygienic environments. Rather than a mere breakdown or failure of the mechanisms of self-tolerance, ADs might thus arise from architectural constraints.