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Can adaptive immune system work without innate immune system?

  1. Mar 12, 2010 #1
    Can adaptive immune system work without innate immune system, independently?

    Innate immune system can only recognize pathogen associated molecular pattern, it doesn't have the capacity to discriminate antigens of different individual in the same species. But "tissue rejection" is a fact, so I suppose adaptive immune system can work (not necessary effectively) without any help from innate immune system- I am not sure, though.

    Any input will be highly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2010 #2
    Looks like a long essay question worth the debate. Both systems are so intertwined there is little capacity to separate either from the other. Usually with specified defects in the innate immunity, such as CD18 deficiency/neutropaenia/chronic granulomatous disease, the adaptive system fails miserably. But it's usually to those elements that need innate system for recognition, especially the Phagocytes. These also happen to "present" these antigens to develop the adaptive system.

    Tissue rejection and viral response is a spin-off for adaptive system. Because every cell can display MHC-I associated antigens, the adaptive system (CD8 lymphocytes) work pretty well but still not without the maturation of CD4 lymphocytes where the stimulus is usually from the phagocytes (consider Tuberculosis immunity here). With tissue rejection, MHC-II molecules themselves may so different in the graft, they are recognized as different by CD-4 lymphocytes and that we do know, kicks off the adaptive system quickly.

    So yes it can work, but only in limited specified situations like the one you already mentioned.
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