Homeostasis, Inflammation and Disease
Homeostasis is a property of biological systems to maintain key parameters at the desired level, close to the set-point value in the face of external and internal perturbations. Homeostatic systems can have either fixed, or adjustable set points. The latter provide the benefit of flexibility but have a vulnerability of dysregulation, resulting in chronic diseases. The disease of homeostasis are invariably associated with inflammation. Inflammation is a protective response against infection, injury and other environmental challenges and internal perturbations of homeostasis. While providing life saving defense, inflammation operates at a cost to homeostasis. The intricate connection between homeostasis and inflammation is rooted in underlying principles of control circuits. These principles, and their implications for human diseases, will be the focus of this presentation.