Host, heal thyself: Immune system self-organizes to minimize biological cost of pathogenic infections

Excerpt 1)

This approach allowed the scientists to create a new framework that makes it unnecessary to explicitly model intracellular communication, cell differentiation, activation of cofactors, coordination of different cell types, the interaction with the innate immune system, and the full complexity of the recognition process.

My comment: Population geneticists took that approach when they invented neo-Darwinian evolution. They eliminated all aspects of nutrient-dependent cell type differentiation and established a theory based on de Vries definition of mutation and assumptions about how long it might take for one species to evolve into another species.

For contrast, the full complexity of the recognition process links the immune system and the olfactory system(s) via what is currently known about the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes and the anti-entropic epigenetic effects of nutrients that suppress the entropic elasticity attributed to viral microRNAs.

Excerpt 2)

… the framework is very general… we see very similar properties in systems as diverse as ecology, neuroscience and the physics of disordered systems.

My comment: For contrast, my model is very specific. It links atoms to ecosystems via the biophysically constrained chemistry of nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated protein folding during life history transitions. See:  Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems

My invited review and model include the 1991 work that is cited in the article A novel multigene family may encode odorant receptors: a molecular basis for odor recognition. That work was extended across all vertebrate species in our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review and via the 2005 publication of “Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction” and a series of my published works that link RNA-mediated cell type differentiation in all genera. For example see: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996)

Excerpt:
It is now believed, however, that odor perception is more akin to the immune system workings where multitudes of receptors are each uniquely responsive to chemical structures (Bartoshuk and Beauchamp, 1994; Buck and Axel, 1991). Moreover, these receptor proteins are chemically and structurally similar to those that bind neurotransmitters and hormones (Buck and Axel, 1991). Thus, the immunological forces spoken of under the heading of “The Inner World,” such as those associated with MHC, can interact with the stimuli to which we now attend. With appropriate feed-back mechanisms, one might expect social-environmental sensory stimuli to also modify sensory receptors.”

The idea that any complex system “self-organizes” still seems silly nearly 2 decades later. The idea that feedback loops linked to nutrient-dependent chromatin loops and RNA-mediated cell type differentiation via fixation of amino acid substitutions in the context of the physiology of reproduction seems much more likely. Indeed, most of what I have detailed during the past two decades (see:  Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems) was published in a special edition of  the journal”Nutrients” by others, albeit without any attempt to link what is currently known about physics, chemistry, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of epigenetically-effected metabolic networks and genetic networks that have integrated nutritional epigenetics and pharmacogenomics.

See for contrast: Clinically Actionable Genotypes Among 10,000 Patients With Preemptive Pharmacogenomic Testing

See also: Oppositional COMT Val158Met effects on resting state functional connectivity in adolescents and adults

The fact that a single amino acid substitution (e.g., Val158Met) links RNA-mediated events to life history transitions in humans to the honeybee model organism may be too much to bear for those who would rather not examine the systems complexity of ecological variation and adaptations. However, the scientists who try to create “… a new framework that makes it unnecessary to explicitly model intracellular communication, cell differentiation, activation of cofactors, coordination of different cell types, the interaction with the innate immune system, and the full complexity of the recognition process” should not be considered to be serious scientists. They should be considered to be among the biologically uninformed who refuse to address what is currently known about physics, chemistry, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of cell type differentiation because it is too complicated for them to understand.

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