Affiliations: Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Today the term “stress” is used for diverse conditions, which causes confusion. We propose to use the term stress for beneficial stimuli, in which the genome is altered in healthy animals, and men, and thus protected from environmental and other stressful conditions. The mutations induced are inheritable. The innate immune system initiates the distress reactions, which are analogous to the acute phase responses. Injury, infections, noxious agents, emotional disturbances may cause distress. Innate immunity responds to injury, infectious disease, noxious agents, and environmental impulses. Emotional distress is first perceived by the central nerves system and then innate immunity is activated by glucocorticoids and catecholamines. The innate immune system provides natural antibodies, killer thymus derived lymphocytes and suppressor-regulatory thymus derived cells, which are activated. A recently discovered neuroprotective thymus derived lymphocyte is also generated. Fever and catabolism prevail, which is a sickness behavior. Innate immune cells recognize germ line derived mayor histocompatibility antigens as “self” and protect it. If germ line mayor histocompatibility genes mutate, the innate immune antigen receptors will also change and now this “altered self” will be regarded as “self” and will be protected by innate immunity.