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Rethinking Communication in the Immune System: The Quorum Sensing Concept

Authors
  • Antonioli, Luca
  • Blandizzi, Corrado
  • Pacher, Pal
  • Guilliams, Martin
  • Hasko, Gyorgy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Source
Ghent University Institutional Archive
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Quorum sensing was first described as the communication process bacteria employ to coordinate changes in gene expression and therefore, their collective behavior in response to population density. Emerging new evidence suggests that quorum sensing can also contribute to the regulation of immune cell responses. Quorum sensing might be achieved by the ability of immune cells to perceive the density of their own populations or those of other cells in their environment; responses to alterations in cell density might then be coordinated via changes in gene expression and protein signaling. Quorum sensing mechanisms can regulate T and B cell as well as macrophage function. We posit that perturbations in quorum sensing may undermine the balance between diverse immune cell populations and predispose the host to immune abnormalities.

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