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      Inflammation as an Animal Development Phenomenon


      Clinical and Developmental Immunology

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Inflammation is a term that has been used throughout history in different contexts; it may represent a simple collection of clinical symptoms for which drugs are developed, a disease mechanism, or even a defense mechanism against microbes validating Pasteur's studies on bacteriology and Darwin's proposed struggle for survival. Thus, an explanation of this term must also consider the scientific questions addressed. In this study, I propose that several of the inflammatory events typically described in immunological, pathological, and pharmacological contexts can also be perceived as mechanisms of animal development. Thus, by recognizing that the generation of an animal form, its conservation, and its regeneration after tissue damage are phenomena of the same nature, inflammation can be addressed through the approach of developmental biology, thereby acquiring a much neglected physiological counterpart.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Origin and physiological roles of inflammation.

          Inflammation underlies a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes. Although the pathological aspects of many types of inflammation are well appreciated, their physiological functions are mostly unknown. The classic instigators of inflammation - infection and tissue injury - are at one end of a large range of adverse conditions that induce inflammation, and they trigger the recruitment of leukocytes and plasma proteins to the affected tissue site. Tissue stress or malfunction similarly induces an adaptive response, which is referred to here as para-inflammation. This response relies mainly on tissue-resident macrophages and is intermediate between the basal homeostatic state and a classic inflammatory response. Para-inflammation is probably responsible for the chronic inflammatory conditions that are associated with modern human diseases.
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              Commensal host-bacterial relationships in the gut.

              One potential outcome of the adaptive coevolution of humans and bacteria is the development of commensal relationships, where neither partner is harmed, or symbiotic relationships, where unique metabolic traits or other benefits are provided. Our gastrointestinal tract is colonized by a vast community of symbionts and commensals that have important effects on immune function, nutrient processing, and a broad range of other host activities. The current genomic revolution offers an unprecedented opportunity to identify the molecular foundations of these relationships so that we can understand how they contribute to our normal physiology and how they can be exploited to develop new therapeutic strategies.

                Author and article information

                Clin Dev Immunol
                Clin. Dev. Immunol
                Clinical and Developmental Immunology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                19 October 2011
                : 2012
                Department of Pharmacology, Biological Sciences Centre, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88049-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
                Author notes
                *Gustavo Campos Ramos: ramosgc@

                Academic Editor: Ana Maria Caetano Faria

                Copyright © 2012 Gustavo Campos Ramos.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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