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Trends Immunol. 2009 Jun;30(6):249-62. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 May 8.

Enabling a systems biology approach to immunology: focus on innate immunity.

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Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Immunity is not simply the product of a series of discrete linear signalling pathways; rather it is comprised of a complex set of integrated responses arising from a dynamic network of thousands of molecules subject to multiple influences. Its behaviour often cannot be explained or predicted solely by examining its components. Here, we review recently developed resources for the systems-level investigation of immunity. Although innate immunity is emphasized here, its considerable overlap with adaptive immunity makes many of these resources relevant to both arms of the immune response. We discuss recent studies implementing these approaches and illustrate the potential of systems biology to generate novel insights into the complexities of innate immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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