Innate immune recognition and control of adaptive immune responses

Semin Immunol. 1998 Oct;10(5):351-3. doi: 10.1006/smim.1998.0136.


The immune system of higher vertebrates consists of two components: innate and adaptive. The innate immune system relies on a set of germ-line encoded receptors that recognize conserved molecular patterns found only in microorganisms. The adaptive immune system uses somatically generated antigen receptors which are clonally distributed on the two types of lymphocytes: T cells and B cells. These antigen receptors are generated by random processes and, as a consequence, the general design of the adaptive immune system is based on clonal selection of lymphocytes expressing receptors with particular specificities. Here we discuss the essential role of the innate immune system in the clonal selection of lymphocytes and activation of the adaptive immune responses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / physiology
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity*
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • CD40 Ligand