The Missing Sense Modality: The Immune System

  title={The Missing Sense Modality: The Immune System},
  author={Felice L. Bedford},
  pages={1265 - 1267}
  • F. Bedford
  • Published 1 October 2011
  • Philosophy
  • Perception
The five senses were handed down by Aristotle. I argue that it has only taken two millennia to recognize that the immune system has been the hidden sensory modality. The immune system completes the range of operation allowing detection of meaningful entities at all distances, from very near to very far. It also withstands the often implicit criteria for being a sense modality. Finally, cross-modal interactions between the immune system and vision and other sense modalities should be possible… 
9 Citations

Figures from this paper

Taste receptors in innate immunity
A review of taste receptor signaling focuses on the G-protein–coupled receptors that detect bitter, sweet, and savory tastes, followed by an overview of extraoral taste receptors and in-depth discussion of studies demonstrating the roles of taste receptors in airway innate immunity.
New insights into upper airway innate immunity
Clinical and basic science studies have shown that the physical epithelial cell barrier, mucociliary clearance, and antimicrobial compound secretion play pivotal innate immune roles in defending the sinonasal cavity from infection.
Sinonasal Solitary Chemosensory Cells “Taste” the Upper Respiratory Environment to Regulate Innate Immunity
  • R. Lee, N. Cohen
  • Biology, Medicine
    American journal of rhinology & allergy
  • 2014
SCCs appear to be important mediators of upper airway innate immunity, as the SCC T2Rs regulate antimicrobial peptide secretion, but further study is needed to determine the specific T2R isoforms involved as well as whether polymorphisms in these isoforms affect susceptibility to infection or patient outcomes in CRS.
Bitter and sweet taste receptors in the respiratory epithelium in health and disease
Bitter and sweet receptors in specialized sinonasal solitary chemosensory cells control antimicrobial peptide secretion, which may have important implications for airway infections in CRS patients as well as patients with diabetes mellitus.
Taste Receptors: Regulators of Sinonasal Innate Immunity
This review will focus on the function of bitter andSweet taste receptors in the human airway, with particular emphasis on T2R38, a bitter taste receptor found in sinonasal ciliated cells, and the bitter and sweet receptors found on specialized sinonASal solitary chemosensory cells.
Role of the bitter taste receptor T2R38 in upper respiratory infection and chronic rhinosinusitis
  • R. Lee, N. Cohen
  • Medicine, Biology
    Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology
  • 2015
A role for T2R38 in sinonasal innate immunity and chronic rhinosinusitis is identified, with clinical implications include the potential development of T1R38-directed topical therapies, as well as using taste testing and/or genotyping to predict susceptibility to infection.
Activation of airway epithelial bitter taste receptors by Pseudomonas aeruginosa quinolones modulates calcium, cyclic-AMP, and nitric oxide signaling
It is suggested that airway T2R-mediated immune responses are activated by bacterial quinolones as well as acyl-homoserine lactones, a type of quorum-sensing molecule used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


Genomic Analysis of the Olfactory Receptor Region of the Mouse and Human T-Cell Receptor α/δ Loci
A comparative genomic analysis of the mouse and human OR clusters that are found 5′ to the TCR genes in both species is provided and reveals no strong sequence conservation, TATA-boxes, or conserved transcription initiator sites in OR promoter regions.
Separate visual representations for perception and for visually guided behavior
Converging evidence from several sources indicates that two distinct representations of visual space mediate perception and visually guided behavior, respectively. The two maps of visual space follow
The immune system as a sensory organ.
  • J. Blalock
  • Biology, Medicine
    Journal of immunology
  • 1984
La neuro-immuno-endocrinologie est supposee depuis longtemps. En effet, le systeme nerveux innerve les organes et tissus varies du systeme immunitaire et leur stimulation a des effets sur la reponse
Cytokine-induced sickness behavior
Gustatory and extragustatory functions of mammalian taste receptors
`̀ Cytokine-induced sickness behavior'' Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
  • Suppl I,
  • 2003
A perception theory in mind-body medicine: guided visual imagery and mindfulness meditation as cross-modal adaptation'' Psychonomic Bulletin and Review advance online publication available at
    Touch'', in Handbook of Psychology: Experimental Psychology Eds I
    • 2003