Modeling MS in nonhuman primates
The classical role of the immune system is to detect and eliminate foreign organisms, such as microbial infection, while at the same time the system should not respond against the body itself (Mills, Immunology 11:807-822, 2011). This implies that the antigen-sensing and antigen-presenting cells (APC) should have the capacity to detect a few foreign antigens within a sea of self-antigens. For this vital task, APC are equipped with conserved pattern-recognition receptor families (PRR), such as Toll-like receptors (TLR). TLR detect conserved molecular structures on pathogens, named pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS), and tissue-damage signals associated with self-antigens, named danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPS, or alarmins). Nonresponsiveness is at least, in part, regulated by the interaction of C-type lectin receptors (CLR) with carbohydrates expressed on self-antigens.