Hi Everyone. I bought a great immunology book last year and decided to share some info with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Immunology is the study of a body’s reactions to foreign substances introduced into the body. Foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are introduced into the body and cause an immune response are called ANTIGENS.
To fight off these foreign substances the body has EXTERNAL DEFENSE SYSTEMS such as unbroken skin, which is the major structural barrier, mucous secretions, tears, saliva, and lactic acid in sweat and the female genital tract.
Some of the INTERNAL DEFENSE SYSTEMS follow:
WHITE BLOOD CELLS (WBCs) seek out foreign cells or particulate matter, then engulf (think eat)the foreigners. Some of these cells move from the circulating blood, through the blood vessels to the infected issues and back to the blood. WBCs include neutrophils, lymphocytes, basophils, mast cells, monocytes and macrophages.
LYMPHOCYTES are the key WBCs involved in the immune response. They are divided into T lymphocytes which help regulate immunity and B lymphocytes which produce ANTIBODIES to the foreign ANTIGENS. Both types of cells recirculate continuously form the bloodstream to the lymph nodes, spleen, appendix, tonsils, and lymphoid tissue and back to the bloodstream in an effort to increase contact with foreign antigens.
CYTOKINES are cell messengers that are proteins produced by several types of cells. Cytokines regulate white blood activity.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN (CRP) is a trace substance in the blood that increases rapidly within 4 to 6 hours following infection, surgery, or other trauma to the body. CRP acts somewhat like an antibody and is capable of coating foreign particles. It also activates Complement.
COMPLEMENT is a complex series of proteins in the blood that interact in a very specific way to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms against foreign cells. While complement promotes coating and destruction of foreign cells, chronic activation of Complement can lead to inflammation and tissue damage.
In SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, T and B lymphocytes (WBC) are uncontrolled leading to the production of autoantibodies. Additionally when the body’s cells and foreign cells break up, the cell debris is not engulfed and cleared which can lead to excess amounts DNA and RNA. Now it is known that Lupus is associated with more than 25 autoantibodies such as Anti-ds-DNA, Anti-ss-A (Ro), Anti-ss-B (La), and Anti-Sm. The immune system is so overwhelmed by the autoantibodies that the antigen-antibody complexes deposit into the tissues. There they bind complement, causing damage to the particular tissue in which they are deposited. Sites in which this typically occurs include the kidneys, joint linings, blood vessel cells, and lungs.
Benlysta stops B lymphocytes from producing autoantibodies.
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