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Adaptation in the innate immune system and heterologous innate immunity

Abstract

The innate immune system recognizes deviation from homeostasis caused by infectious or non-infectious assaults. The threshold for its activation seems to be established by a calibration process that includes sensing of microbial molecular patterns from commensal bacteria and of endogenous signals. It is becoming increasingly clear that adaptive features, a hallmark of the adaptive immune system, can also be identified in the innate immune system. Such adaptations can result in the manifestation of a primed state of immune and tissue cells with a decreased activation threshold. This keeps the system poised to react quickly. Moreover, the fact that the innate immune system recognizes a wide variety of danger signals via pattern recognition receptors that often activate the same signaling pathways allows for heterologous innate immune stimulation. This implies that, for example, the innate immune response to an infection can be modified by co-infections or other innate stimuli. This “design feature” of the innate immune system has many implications for our understanding of individual susceptibility to diseases or responsiveness to therapies and vaccinations. In this article, adaptive features of the innate immune system as well as heterologous innate immunity and their implications are discussed.

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Abbreviations

ACD:

Allergic contact dermatitis

BCR:

B cell receptor

CHS:

Contact hypersensitivity

CLR:

C-type lectin receptor

CRISPR:

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats

DAMP:

Damage-associated molecular pattern

DC:

Dendritic cell

DNP:

2,4-Dinitrophenyl

DTH:

Delayed type hypersensitivity

DNTB:

2,4-Dinitrothiocyanobenzene

ECM:

Extracellular matrix

MAMP:

Microbe-associated molecular pattern

MDSC:

Myeloid-derived suppressor cell

NK:

Natural killer

NLR:

NOD-like receptor

PAMP:

Pathogen-associated molecular pattern

pMHC:

Peptide/MHC complex

PRR:

Pattern recognition receptor

RLR:

RIG-I like receptor

SAR:

Systemic acquired resistance

TCR:

T cell receptor

TLR:

Toll-like receptor

Treg:

Regulatory T cell

TNCB:

2,4,6-Trinitrochlorobenzene

TNP:

2,4,6-Trinitrophenyl

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Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Dr. Philipp R. Esser for helpful discussions and careful reading of the manuscript.

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Martin, S.F. Adaptation in the innate immune system and heterologous innate immunity. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 71, 4115–4130 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-014-1676-2

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Keywords

  • Heterologous immunity
  • Innate immunity
  • Adjuvant
  • T cell
  • Inflammation
  • Contact dermatitis