See no evil, hear no evil, do no evil: the lessons of immune privilege

Nat Immunol. 2006 Apr;7(4):354-9. doi: 10.1038/ni1328.


Immune-mediated inflammation and allograft rejection are greatly reduced in certain organs, a phenomenon called 'immune privilege'. Immune privilege is well developed in three regions of the body: the eye, the brain and the pregnant uterus. Immune-mediated inflammation has devastating consequences in the eye and brain, which have limited capacity for regeneration. Likewise, loss of immune privilege at the maternal-fetal interface culminates in abortion in rodents. However, all three regions share many adaptations that restrict the induction and expression of immune-mediated inflammation. A growing body of evidence from rodent studies suggests that a breakdown in immune privilege contributes to multiple sclerosis, uveitis, corneal allograft rejection and possibly even immune abortion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / immunology
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Eye / immunology*
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Pregnancy
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors / immunology
  • Uterus / immunology*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors