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Contribution of the Commensal Microflora to the Immunological Homeostasis and the Importance of Immune-Related Drug Development for Clinical Applications

Experimental and Translational Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center, 55131 Mainz, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Academic Editor: Gysbert-Botho van Setten
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8896; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168896
Received: 28 June 2021 / Revised: 16 August 2021 / Accepted: 17 August 2021 / Published: 18 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Nudging – Maintaining Vigilance and Reactivity)
Not long ago, self-reactive immune activity was considered as pathological trait. A paradigm shift has now led to the recognition of autoimmune processes as part of natural maintenance of molecular homeostasis. The immune system is assigned further roles beneath the defense against pathogenic organisms. Regarding the humoral immune system, the investigation of natural autoantibodies that are frequently found in healthy individuals has led to further hypotheses involving natural autoimmunity in other processes as the clearing of cellular debris or decrease in inflammatory processes. However, their role and origin have not been entirely clarified, but accumulating evidence links their formation to immune reactions against the gut microbiome. Antibodies targeting highly conserved proteins of the commensal microflora are suggested to show self-reactive properties, following the paradigm of the molecular mimicry. Here, we discuss recent findings, which demonstrate potential links of the commensal microflora to the immunological homeostasis and highlight the possible implications for various diseases. Furthermore, specific components of the immune system, especially antibodies, have become a focus of attention for the medical management of various diseases and provide attractive treatment options in the future. Nevertheless, the development and optimization of such macromolecules still represents a very time-consuming task, shifting the need to more medical agents with simple structural properties and low manufacturing costs. Synthesizing only the biologically active sites of antibodies has become of great interest for the pharmaceutical industry and offers a wide range of therapeutic application areas as it will be discussed in the present review article. View Full-Text
Keywords: gut microbiome; immune homeostasis; natural antibodies; immunomodulation; immunotherapy gut microbiome; immune homeostasis; natural antibodies; immunomodulation; immunotherapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Beutgen, V.M.; Schmelter, C.; Pfeiffer, N.; Grus, F.H. Contribution of the Commensal Microflora to the Immunological Homeostasis and the Importance of Immune-Related Drug Development for Clinical Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 8896. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168896

AMA Style

Beutgen VM, Schmelter C, Pfeiffer N, Grus FH. Contribution of the Commensal Microflora to the Immunological Homeostasis and the Importance of Immune-Related Drug Development for Clinical Applications. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(16):8896. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168896

Chicago/Turabian Style

Beutgen, Vanessa M., Carsten Schmelter, Norbert Pfeiffer, and Franz H. Grus 2021. "Contribution of the Commensal Microflora to the Immunological Homeostasis and the Importance of Immune-Related Drug Development for Clinical Applications" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 16: 8896. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168896

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