Adaptive immunity

Based on the dual recognition responses of abT cells

Yan-Ming Liu,1 Jing Luo2 and Clive Bennett3,*

1Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine; Tianjin, China; 2Changchun University of Traditional Chinese Medicine; Changchun, China;

3School of Biological Sciences; University of Southampton; Southampton, UK

Self/Nonself 1:1, January/February/March 2010
Pages 62 - 66

It is proposed that the recently reported

second recognition mode of αβT cells

allows an explanation of the evolutionary

origin of adaptive immunity. The

dual modes provide the mechanism of

development/differentiation of αβT cells

under the control of immune response (Ir)

genes by which a given T cell can distinguish

one kind of MHC molecule (as ‘self’

phase, learned from its positive selection)

from others (as ‘non-self’ phase) involved

in antigen recognition. It is thus possible

to re-explain the ‘self’/‘non-self’ concept

based on ‘homotype (phase)’/‘heterotype

(phase)’ recognition at the level of a single

clone of T cells. Hence adaptive immunity

is explained here as being derived

from functions that ensure synchronous

ontogeny and prevent the paradoxical (or

retrograde) development of vertebrates.