Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Immunol. 2017 Oct;38(10):777-788. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Mar 7.

The S(c)ensory Immune System Theory.

Author information

Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, Edifício Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisbon, Portugal; Champalimaud Research, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, 1400-038 Lisbon, Portugal. Electronic address:
Unité Biologie des Populations Lymphocytaires, CNRS, URA 1961, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. Electronic address:


Viewpoints on the immune system have evolved across different paradigms, including the clonal selection theory, the idiotypic network, and the danger and tolerance models. Herein, we propose that in multicellular organisms, where panoplies of cells from different germ layers interact and immune cells are constantly generated, the behavior of the immune system is defined by the rules governing cell survival, systems physiology and organismic homeostasis. Initially, these rules were imprinted at the single cell-protist level, but supervened modifications in the transition to multicellular organisms. This context determined the emergence of the 'sensory immune system', which operates in a s(c)ensor mode to ensure systems physiology, organismic homeostasis, and perpetuation of its replicating molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center