Termination of immune activation: An essential component of healthy host immune responses

Barry A. Kane*, Katherine J. Bryant, H. Patrick McNeil, Nicodemus T. Tedla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The ideal immune response is rapid, proportionate and effective. Crucially, it must also be finite. An inflammatory response which is disproportionate or lasts too long risks injury to the host; chronic un-regulated inflammation in autoimmune diseases is one example of this. Thus, mechanisms to regulate and ultimately terminate immune responses are central to a healthy immune system. Despite extensive knowledge of what drives immune responses, our understanding of mechanisms of immune termination remains relatively sparse. It is clear that such processes are more complex than a one-dimensional homeostatic balance. Recent discoveries have revealed ever more nuanced mechanisms of signal termination, such as intrinsically self-limiting signals, multiple inhibitory mechanisms acting in tandem and activating proteins behaving differently in a variety of contexts. This review will summarise some important mechanisms, including termination by immunoreceptor tyro-sine-based inhibitory motifs (ITIM), inhibition by soluble antagonists, receptor endocytosis or ubiquitination, and auto-inhibition by newly synthesised intracellular inhibitory molecules. Several recent discoveries showing immunore-ceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs transducing inhibitory signals, ITIM mediating activating responses and the possible roles of immunoreceptor tyrosine-based switch motifs will also be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-738
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Termination of immune activation: An essential component of healthy host immune responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this