Auto-immunity as Evolutionary by Product of Adoptive Immunity and Source of
Anti-tumor Immunity Failure
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology - "Medica Centre" - Nis, Serbia and Montenegro.
One of the biggest threats to survival is infection, so that the immune system is under permanent
and strong evolutionary pressure to be highly responsive. By tracing the evolution of the invertebrate immune system, it can be seen that it largely followed the "classical" model based on bi-directional "predator-prey" relationships. Similarly, the evolutionary emergence of MHC system and the mechanisms of immune recognition in vertebrates came as a direct result of a microbe-exerted selection pressure. The
new possibilities gave rise to new conveniences and brought about certain risks in the new forms, like autoimmunity,
alloimmunity and reproductive efficacy. To that effect, the evolutionary emergence of the MHC
has enabled a more effective defence from intracellular parasites, such as viruses. However, the whole
complex of processing/presenting/recognizing of antigens could be closely related to the auto-immunity as
a by-product of the evolution of MHC system and adoptive immunity. On the other hand, tumor
development is frequently accompanied by the immune response against "self" and altered antigens
expressed by tumor cells, because these antigens are the most prevalent molecules recognized by the
immune system. The activation of the auto-immune process in parallel with an effective anti-tumor
response could mean the failure of protective control mechanisms of the immune reaction that may be
responsible for the prevention of auto-immune diseases. At the same time, the activation of
suppressor/modulatory mechanisms possibly accompanied by the activation of anti-tumor auto-immunelike
immune response could be a factor of anti-tumor immunity failure in all vertebrates.
Keywords: Auto-immunity, vertebrate, mammals, tumor, evolution
Notes: Article submitted by I. Bubanovic [author]. Article originally published in International Journal of Cancer Research [2005; 1(2): 81-86].