Re-thinking our understanding of immunity: Robustness in the tissue reconstruction system

Publication date: April 2018
Source:Seminars in Immunology, Volume 36
Author(s): Marie-Elise Truchetet, Thomas Pradeu
Robustness, understood as the maintenance of specific functionalities of a given system against internal and external perturbations, is pervasive in today’s biology. Yet precise applications of this notion to the immune system have been scarce. Here we show that the concept of robustness sheds light on tissue repair, and particularly on the crucial role the immune system plays in this process. We describe the specific mechanisms, including plasticity and redundancy, by which robustness is achieved in the tissue reconstruction system (TRS). In turn, tissue repair offers a very important test case for assessing the usefulness of the concept of robustness, and identifying different varieties of robustness.