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Front Immunol. 2015 Feb 19;6:72. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00072. eCollection 2015.

A common origin for immunity and digestion.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University , New Haven, CT , USA.


Historically, the digestive and immune systems were viewed and studied as separate entities. However, there are remarkable similarities and shared functions in both nutrient acquisition and host defense. Here, I propose a common origin for both systems. This association provides a new prism for viewing the emergence and evolution of host defense mechanisms.


digestion physiology; evolution; gut microbiome; host-microbe interactions; innate immunity; metabolism

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