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Nat Rev Immunol. 2016 Aug;16(8):524-32. doi: 10.1038/nri.2016.75. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Immunity by equilibrium.

Author information

1
Institut Pasteur, Microenvironment and Immunity Unit, 75724 Paris, France, and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U1224, 75724 Paris, France.

Abstract

The classical model of immunity posits that the immune system reacts to pathogens and injury and restores homeostasis. Indeed, a century of research has uncovered the means and mechanisms by which the immune system recognizes danger and regulates its own activity. However, this classical model does not fully explain complex phenomena, such as tolerance, allergy, the increased prevalence of inflammatory pathologies in industrialized nations and immunity to multiple infections. In this Essay, I propose a model of immunity that is based on equilibrium, in which the healthy immune system is always active and in a state of dynamic equilibrium between antagonistic types of response. This equilibrium is regulated both by the internal milieu and by the microbial environment. As a result, alteration of the internal milieu or microbial environment leads to immune disequilibrium, which determines tolerance, protective immunity and inflammatory pathology.

PMID:
27396446
DOI:
10.1038/nri.2016.75
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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