If immunity or tolerance was the response, what was the question? Reflection on immunological recognition and evolution
Silvia Sánchez-Ramón & Daniela Butnaru
The history of science is the history of good questions. Face to one stimulus, the immune system is capable of responding in many different ways that can be synthetized as immunity or tolerance. This response is mediated by an enormous diversity of strategies of molecular recognition and a sophisticated regulation of its function acquired along evolution; and is modulated by the internal status of its components, the nature of the antigenic stimulus and the local microenvironment within a dynamical framework. Along the history of Immunology, the theoretical models of the immunological recognition have evolved according to the scientific discoveries of the functioning of our immune system. We present herein an updated review of the theoretical models of the IS functioning from their basic property of antigenic recognition. We suggest new arguments on the necessity to develop models that enable to explain the immune system functioning as an indissoluble integrated system with psychoneurological and endocrine systems.