Innate autoimmunity

Adv Immunol. 2005:86:137-57. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2776(04)86004-8.


The adaptive immune system has evolved highly specific pattern recognition proteins and receptors that, when triggered, provide a first line of host defense against pathogens. Studies reveal that these innate recognition proteins are also self-reactive and can initiate inflammation against self-tissues in a similar manner as with pathogens. This specific event is referred to as "innate autoimmunity." In this review, we describe two classes of autoimmune responses, that is, reperfusion injury and fetal loss syndrome, in which the recognition and injury are mediated by innate immunity. Both disorders are common and are clinically important. Reperfusion injury (RI) represents an acute inflammatory response after a reversible ischemic event and subsequent restoration of blood flow. Findings that injury is IgM and complement dependent and that a single natural antibody prepared from a panel of B-1 cell hybridomas can restore injury in antibody-deficient mice suggest that RI is an autoimmune-type disorder. Fetal loss syndrome is also an antibody- and complement-dependent disorder. Although both immune and natural antibodies are likely involved in recognition of phospholipid self-antigens, inhibition of the complement pathway in rodent models can block fetal loss. As new innate recognition proteins and receptors are identified, it is likely that innate responses to self represent frequent events and possibly underlie many of the known chronic autoimmune disorders normally attributable to dysregulation of adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Reperfusion Injury / immunology*