2013 年 9 巻 4 号 p. 208-213
Our internal defense system is composed of two distinct elements; local innate immunity principally arranged on the surface area to establish barriers against various pathogens and systemic acquired immunity mainly seen in systemic compartments to survey and control internal damage and disorders. The former innate surface barrier is chiefly regulated via species-restricted CD1 antigen-presenting molecules through lipid/glycolipid antigens presented mainly by dendritic cells (DCs), while the latter internal acquired immune system is controlled by individually restricted MHC molecules and gained antigen-specific memories through gene-rearrangements. Such specific memories are also instructed mainly by DCs that can capture the antigenic information from foreign bodies whose lipids or nucleic acids fragments stimulate the DCs. Therefore, our innate immunity seems to be controlled by various lipids and their relatives. On reconsidering the Traditional Chinese medicine, boiled water-extract of various herbs has been used. In that water-extract, there are various saponin detergents, essential oils, alkaloids, and other lipid-related substances that may clean and erase the old sticky lipids or protect and activate the innate immune system. In this review, based on our recent immunological progress on lipids, the possible relationship between Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine and innate immunity will be discussed.