Pathogen Recognition and New Insights into Innate Immunity

  • Joel N. Kline
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 2)


Immune responses are based on differentiation between self and non-self; further distinctions then must be made regarding an intruder’s potential danger. While the adaptive immune system can elegantly and precisely identify and react to microbes, this is a slow and somewhat inefficient process. In contrast, innate immunity provides the “first responders” to a perceived alert, and does so in a rapid and proactive process. We have evolved an interactive network of pattern recognition receptors that are programmed to respond to conserved molecular elements found on pathogens. These receptors (including the family of Toll-like receptors, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain proteins, and mannose receptors) are found on a wide range of cells but especially on those whose mobility and/or location puts them in frequent contact with the organisms that cross the epithelium. Their ligation can initiate inflammatory cascades that serve to mobilize cells, activate production of cytokine and chemokines, and promote release of inflammatory mediators.


Allergy Clin Immunol Atopic Asthma Hygiene Hypothesis TLR4 Polymorphism Atopic Disorder 
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-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel N. Kline
    • 1
  1. 1.UI Asthma Center, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowaUSA

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