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Moscow State University told when immunity turns into a suicidal altruist

Scientists put forward the hypothesis of saving the population

Biologists from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Biology named after A.N. Belozersky of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov put forward a hypothesis related to saving the population. They offered a new perspective on the role of innate immunity.

Scientists Boris Chernyak, Konstantin Lyamzaev and Armen Mulkidzhanyan suggested that the destructive effect of innate immunity against one’s healthy cells, which is sometimes observed in COVID-19, autoimmune diseases or sepsis, is nothing more than a kind of aging that occurs at an accelerated pace for the sake of society’s liberation from sick individuals.

For example, they called the destructive mechanism of the immune system in the case of coronavirus altruistic suicide. In such a suicide, the body kills itself in order to prevent the spread of infection in a related population.

Everyone knows that innate immunity is a powerful barrier against all kinds of pathogens and tumors. But he can also turn into the killer of his master. This sometimes happens with a severe form of COVID-19, when the patient’s antibodies turn against their own cells.

Moscow State University suggested that the destructive activity of innate immunity is based on deeper, nature-programmed causes. This is not just an increase in immunity in an infectious disease, but the evolutionary protection of an entire population from sick people – the so-called altruistic suicide. The results of the work were published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

About the phenomenon of cleaning the community of organisms from harmful individuals in the 90s of the last century, the director of the Institute. A.N. Belozersky Vladimir Skulachev. He called it phenoptosis: “Phenoptosis can be defined as the way in which a community of organisms is cleansed of harmful or simply superfluous individuals by turning on a program of their own death.” Skulachev also suggested that programmed aging is a slow form of phenoptosis.

The fact that there is a connection between phenoptosis and activation of innate immunity is evidenced by many years of experiments on the selection of long-lived fruit flies, in which the immune system was suppressed, and along with it, antiviral immunity. This allows flies to peacefully coexist with many viruses.

Apparently, evolution followed a similar path in the case of bats. In these animals, due to a point mutation in one of the genes, antiviral immunity is significantly reduced. As a result, they, like fruit flies, peacefully coexist with many viruses and serve as a reservoir for very dangerous pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Interestingly, at the Institute Belozersky proposed a remedy against the body’s deadly program. These are antioxidants that target the mitochondria (they reduce the formation of free radicals in the mitochondria). Studies have shown that these compounds suppress many innate immune responses by interfering with inflammatory processes.

Source From: MK

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