Issue of Self and Non-self

  • Yoshiro Maru


The interactions between human and other species have been well documented in anthropology, because human beings are omnivorous. Cooking by boiling can fend off encounters with microbial toxins derived from their growth in foods. For human beings as a self, the most obvious non-self is other species, such as botany and reptiles. (king cobra) can kill humans by its neurotoxin acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) in humans [1]. In addition to biting, the ancient ways of transferring molecules to the circulation include inhalation of opium and the arrow poison used by South American Indians to hunt animals, such as curare containing d-tubocurarine that can block nAchR. However, it is needless to say that the most primitive route is per oral administration. Ingested and subsequently absorbed hazardous non-self substances are sensed by the chemoreceptor trigger zone in the midbrain and vomiting reaction takes place to expel the non-self from the self. The principle is that molecules from the non-self can be life-threatening for the self and the biological manifestation includes elimination of non-self or damage of self. The molecular basis is the interaction and subsequent events between a non-self-derived or exogenous molecule and a self-derived or endogenous receptor(s). The responsible sensors are expressed in immune cells, epithelial cells, and neuronal cells.


Human Leukocyte Antigen Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Familial Mediterranean Fever Graft Versus Host Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiro Maru
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyTokyo Women’s Medical UniversityTokyoJapan

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