The immune system is dead! Long live the immune system!

Jamie Cunliffe cunlij at
Fri Feb 11 05:10:59 EST 2000

In article <87v7sa$6bf at>,
  "Pierre" <sonigo at> wrote:

> Revised hypothesis 3 (Cunliffe) : the immune system attacks the enemy
> because it is messy.


Sorry! You are still bogged down in the conventional perspective. APCs
simply find either a tidy set of cells that are not under stress, not
spilt and an ECM free of the tell tale signature of spilt cells OR,
they see the opposite. On seeing the opposite they ingest and present
all the garbage that they tidy up for presentation to precursor T-cells
so that it can invoke an aggressive response. Both antigens typical of
healthy self and foreign peptides will be presented. It is only the
fact that most precursor T-cells responding to peptides typical of
healthy self have been mopped up into suppression (by the previous
widespread constant apoptosis that goes on in large volume throughout
the body) that focuses attention dominantly on what we are happy to
call "non-self" antigens.

> Evolutionary corolary : the origin of the immune system is the
> immune system. The function of the primitive immune system was to
> primitive enemies. It was strongly selected because if we are killed
> enemies, we are dead.

Again, convention-think has got the upper hand. I believe that I have
shown you that you can mount a system that doesn't even look for
enemies. It looks for cells and their debris that got uncontrollably
sick in the past and ushers them into extinction as soon as possible on
the next encounter.  Although this ends up as an APPARENT attack on
foreign antigens this is the simple consequence of the fact that T-
cells specific for these epitopes have NOT previously been mopped up
into tolerance through widespread, physiological apoptosis.

Waterside Health Centre, SO45 5WX, UK
Home pages

Sent via
Before you buy.

More information about the Immuno mailing list