La Trobe

File(s) stored somewhere else

Please note: Linked content is NOT stored on La Trobe and we can't guarantee its availability, quality, security or accept any liability.

Speculations on the evolution of humoral adaptive immunity

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-10, 22:10 authored by MB Horton, ED Hawkins, Susanne Heinzel, Philip Hodgkin
© 2020 The Authors. Immunology & Cell Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology, Inc. The protection of a multicellular organism from infection, at both cell and humoral levels, has been a tremendous driver of gene selection and cellular response strategies. Here we focus on a critical event in the development of humoral immunity: The transition from principally innate responses to a system of adaptive cell selection, with all the attendant mechanical problems that must be solved in order for it to work effectively. Here we review recent advances, but our major goal is to highlight that the development of adaptive immunity resulted from the adoption, reuse and repurposing of an ancient, autonomous cellular program that combines and exploits three titratable cellular fate timers. We illustrate how this common cell machinery recurs and appears throughout biology, and has been essential for the evolution of complex organisms, at many levels of scale.


This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Project Grant 1164800 and a Research Fellowship to PDH), Victorian State Government Operational Infrastructure Support, an Australian Government NHMRC Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (361646) and the Australian Department of Education and Training (Research Training Program Scholarship to MBH). We thank Steve Nutt and Jenny Anderson for insightful feedback.


Publication Date



Immunology and Cell Biology






10p. (p. 439-448)


John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd



Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.