Quo vadis chimerism?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although immunity in multicellular organisms is efficient in dealing with alien agents, it may fail for allogeneic chimerism. Natural chimerism is widely documented in nature, distributed in at least ten phyla of protists, invertebrates and plants, vertebrates and mammals, including humans; it is an important ecological/evolutionary tool manipulating metazoans' life history portraits. Instead of purging allogeneic nascent selfish cells, a 'double edged sword' chimerism emerges, displaying environmental dictated costs and benefits for the genotypes involved. Benefits include the development of synergistic complementation, the increase of genetic variability, the assurance of mate location, improved size-dependent ecological qualities (growth rates, reproduction, survivorship, competition, environmental tolerance) and more. Costs include the threat of somatic and germ cell parasitism, developmental instability, death, diseases, autoimmunity, sexual sterility and organ malformations, which develop as well in mammalian natural chimerism, including humans. Because of its importance, medical sciences should study and harness natural chimerism properties for clinical purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by a ited: modes of reproduction among deep-sea ceratioid Starzl TE. Murine liver allograft transplantation: Pietsch PW. Dimorphism, parasitism and sex revis-Qian S, Demetris AJ, Murase N, Rao AS, Fung JJ, grant from the Israel Science Foundation anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes). Ichthyol Res Tolerance and donor cell chimerism. Hepathology


  • Anglerfish
  • CTVS
  • Cellular parasitism
  • Chimerism
  • Costs/benefits
  • DFTD
  • Evolution
  • Invertebrates
  • Natural transplantation
  • Rhizocephala

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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