Journal article

The immunological functions of the Appendix: An example of redundancy?

Mathilde JH Girard-Madoux, Mercedes Gomez de Aguero, Stephanie C Ganal-Vonarburg, Catherine Mooser, Gabrielle T Belz, Andrew J Macpherson, Eric Vivier

SEMINARS IN IMMUNOLOGY | ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2018

Abstract

Biological redundancy ensures robustness in living organisms at several levels, from genes to organs. In this review, we explore the concept of redundancy and robustness through an analysis of the caecal appendix, an organ that is often considered to be a redundant remnant of evolution. However, phylogenic data show that the Appendix was selected during evolution and is unlikely to disappear once it appeared. In humans, it is highly conserved and malformations are extremely rare, suggesting a role for that structure. The Appendix could perform a dual role. First, it is a concentrate of lymphoid tissue resembling Peyer's patches and is the primary site for immunoglobulin A production which is..

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University of Melbourne Researchers