The last decade has seen a revolution in the field of Immunology. Starting from simple views on the ability of the immune system to respond to foreign antigens or to perform self/not-self discrimination, the image has become much more complex, with the realisation that autoreactive lymphocytes normally circulate in the body, without causing harm to the organism. In fact, the critical point in the development of an immune response is the activation of lymphocytes. This depends on the functional state of antigen-presenting cells and on structural features of the so-called "immune synapse". Self/not-self discrimination is therefore not as strict as previously thought: on the contrary, it has been shown that a certain degree of self-reactivity is useful, if not necessary, to the homeostasis of the organism. Furthermore, the immune system can be viewed as a network of elements which try to connect with each other to avoid death, and are endowed with emerging properties. In this review, we will make a quick summary of the "classical" paradigms in Immunology, and will discuss the dogmas (specificity, self/not-self discrimination, tolerance) as well as the new ideas to explain how the immune system works, all of them emerging from experimental observations made in the last decade of immunological research. All this may have interesting consequences both for immunologists wanting to make mathematical models of the Immune System and for those involved in the use of immune algorithms for the development of "Artificial Immune Systems" and computational applications.

Current paradigms in immunology / E. Cesana, S. Beltrami, A.E. Laface, A. Urthaler, A. Folci, A. Clivio - In: Neural nets : 16th Italian Workshop on Neural Nets, WIRN 2005 and International Workshop on Natural and Artificial Immune Systems, NAIS 2005, Vietri sul Mare, Italy, June 8-11, 2005 : revised selected papers / [a cura di] B. Apolloni, M. Marinaro, G. Nicosia, R. Tagliaferri. - Berlin : Springer, 2006 Mar 11. - ISBN 978-3-540-33183-4. - pp. 244-260 (( convegno 16. Italian Workshop on Neural Nets (WIRN) and International Workshop on Natural and Artificial Immune Systems (NAIS) tenutosi a Vietri sul Mare nel 2005 [10.1007/11731177_32].

Current paradigms in immunology

E. Cesana;S. Beltrami;A.E. Laface;A. Urthaler;A. Folci;A. Clivio
2006-03-11

Abstract

The last decade has seen a revolution in the field of Immunology. Starting from simple views on the ability of the immune system to respond to foreign antigens or to perform self/not-self discrimination, the image has become much more complex, with the realisation that autoreactive lymphocytes normally circulate in the body, without causing harm to the organism. In fact, the critical point in the development of an immune response is the activation of lymphocytes. This depends on the functional state of antigen-presenting cells and on structural features of the so-called "immune synapse". Self/not-self discrimination is therefore not as strict as previously thought: on the contrary, it has been shown that a certain degree of self-reactivity is useful, if not necessary, to the homeostasis of the organism. Furthermore, the immune system can be viewed as a network of elements which try to connect with each other to avoid death, and are endowed with emerging properties. In this review, we will make a quick summary of the "classical" paradigms in Immunology, and will discuss the dogmas (specificity, self/not-self discrimination, tolerance) as well as the new ideas to explain how the immune system works, all of them emerging from experimental observations made in the last decade of immunological research. All this may have interesting consequences both for immunologists wanting to make mathematical models of the Immune System and for those involved in the use of immune algorithms for the development of "Artificial Immune Systems" and computational applications.
Settore BIO/13 - Biologia Applicata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/214268
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