The evolution of alloimmunity and the genesis of adaptive immunity

Stephen J. Gould, James Hildreth, Amy M. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infectious agents select for host immune responses that destroy infectious nonself yet maintain tolerance to self. Here we propose that retroviruses and other host-antigen associated pathogens (HAAPs) select for the genetic, biochemical, and cell biological properties of alloimmunity, also known as the histocompatibility or tissue rejection response. This hypothesis predicts the major observations regarding histocompatibility responses, including: (i) their existence in animals as diverse as sponges and humans; (ii) extreme polymorphism and balanced allele frequencies at histocompatibility loci, including the human MHC and blood group loci; (iii) the frequency dependent selection of histocompatibility alleles; (iv) the ancient age of many alloantigenic polymorphisms; (v) the high ratio of nonsynonymous mutations to synonymous mutations at histocompatibility loci; (vi) disassortative mating based on MHC alleles; (vii) the inability to explain the existence and continuing selection of histocompatibility alleles by other more conventional biochemical and genetic paradigms; and (viii) the susceptibility of HAAPs, particularly retroviruses such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), to histocompatibility reactions. In addition, the hypothesis that HAAPs select the forms and molecules of alloimmunity offers simple explanations for the evolution of histocompatibility systems over time, the initial selection of hypervariable immune mechanisms, and the genesis of adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-382
Number of pages24
JournalQuarterly Review of Biology
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Histocompatibility
Adaptive Immunity
Retroviridae
pathogens
antigens
alleles
loci
genetic polymorphism
mutation
blood groups
Alleles
Human immunodeficiency virus
Antigens
molecular genetics
gene frequency
Molecular Biology
immune response
adaptive immunity
Porifera
Blood Group Antigens

Keywords

  • Blood group antigen
  • Disassortative mating
  • Frequency dependent selection
  • Histocompatibility
  • HIV
  • MHC allele
  • Pathogen
  • Retrovirus
  • Transfusion
  • Transplantation
  • Transspecies polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

The evolution of alloimmunity and the genesis of adaptive immunity. / Gould, Stephen J.; Hildreth, James; Booth, Amy M.

In: Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 79, No. 4, 12.2004, p. 359-382.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gould, Stephen J. ; Hildreth, James ; Booth, Amy M. / The evolution of alloimmunity and the genesis of adaptive immunity. In: Quarterly Review of Biology. 2004 ; Vol. 79, No. 4. pp. 359-382.
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