The immune system’s challenge: The safe elimination of pathogens and dangers while limiting collateral damage

The sensitivity for the detection threshold for foreign and modified self-molecules must be continuously adapted to the specific phase of an immune response to avoid under or overstimulation. Cell motility and migration is a characteristic feature of the immune system that allows clustering, crosstalk, clonal expansion and relocation in order to focus immune response to specific tissue sites, such as organs, thereby limiting the associated immune-mediated damage. At the same time, motility and migration provide important cues for systemic interconnectivity of different modular immune functions.

The following figure provides an overview of the three key areas immune cell migration and chemotaxis, organ-speficif immune circuits, and impact of genetic and epigenetic variation on immune responses and their feedback circuits.