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Understanding immunity requires more than immunology

An Erratum to this article was published on 01 October 2010

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Acetylcholine and related neurotransmitters appeared with unicellular life forms, millions of years before innate immunity. Tools and insights are now available for understanding how the evolving nervous system influenced the development of immunity.

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Figure 1: Foreign products derived from infecting pathogens and endogenous molecules released from ischemic or ruptured cells converge on the innate immune system, which leads to cytokine release.

Katie Vicari

Figure 2: Neural signals transmitted to spleen down-modulate the inflammatory phenotype of passing lymphocytes and monocytes.

Katie Vicari

Change history

  • 25 June 2010

    In the version of this article initially published, the affiliation provided was incorrect. It should read as follows:“Kevin J. Tracey is with the Center for Biomedical Science, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA.” The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.


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Correspondence to Kevin J Tracey.

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Tracey, K. Understanding immunity requires more than immunology. Nat Immunol 11, 561–564 (2010).

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