1932

Abstract

In this essay, I make four points about the operation of the immune system. First, thanks to the innate immune system's regulation of the main costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, the immune system rarely mistakes a pathogen for a self-antigen. Second, the adaptive immune system consisting of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes can mistake self for non-self because adaptive immunity is selected in single somatic cells. Third, the adaptive immune system of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes is always referential to self, as it is selected on self-ligands; it persists in the periphery on self-ligands; and at least for T cells, it is dependent on self-ligands to be able to mount a response. Fourth, it is becoming clear that regulatory or suppressor T cells are our main defense against autoimmunity, as my first boss, Richard Gershon, had predicted. These cells recognize antigen as do all T cells, but they secrete the immunoregulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGFβ.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.immunol.20.080801.102422
2002-04-01
2024-06-17
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