Immune System Terms

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T-Dependent Antigens

Antigens that can stimulate antibody production only with help from T helper cells.

Immunoglobins

Antibodies.

Neutralization

An immune reponse in which an antibody binds to and blocks the ativity of an antigen.

Opzonization

The process by which a pathogen is marked for ingestion and destruction by a phagocyte.

Agglutination

An antibody-mediated immune response in which bacteria or viruses are clumped together, effectively neutralized, and opsonized.

Complement Fixation

An immune response in which antigen-antibody complexes activate complement proteins.

Membrane Attack Complex

The complex of terminal complement components that forms a pore in the membrane of the target cell, damaging the membrane and leading to cell lysis.

Immune Adherence

The collective action of antibodyies, complement, and phagocytes. Microbes coated with antibodies and complement proteins adhere to blood vessel walls, making the pathogens easier prey for phagocytic cells circulating in the blood.

T-Independent Antigens

An antigen that will stimulate the formation of antibodies without the assistance of T helper cells.

Epitope

A localized region on the surface of an antigen that is chemically recognized by antibodies; also called antigenic determinant.

Active Immunity

Immunity provided by the body producing its own antibodies against a particular antigen; results from exposure to the antigen via infection or vaccine.

Passive Immunity

A resistance to disease produced through the injection of antibodies.

Rh Factor

Antigen found in red blood cells; used in blood typing.

Eosinophils

White blood cells that are responsible for combating infection by parasites in the body.

Natural Killer Cells

A nonspecific defensive cell that attacks tumor cells and destroys infected body cells, especially those harboring viruses.

Leukocytes

White Blood Cells.

Self Tolerance

The normal situation whereby a person's immune system does not respond to constituents of the person's body.

AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Retro Virus

An RNA virus that reproduces by transcribing its RNA into DNA and then inserting the DNA into a cellualar chromosomes; an important class of cancer-causing viruses.

HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

CD4

A surface protein, present on most helper T cells, that binds to class II MHC molecules, enhancing the interaction between the T cell and an antigen-presenting cell.

CD8

A surface protein, present on most cytotoxic T cells, that binds to class I MHC molecules, enhancing the interaction between the T cell and a target cell.

Chemokines

A group of about 50 different proteins secreted by blood vessel endothelial cells and monocytes. Theses molecules bind to receptors on many types of leukocytes and induce numerous changes central to inflammation.

MHC Molecule

Macromolecule that is recognised by T cell receptor.

Cytotoxic T Cell

A T lymphocyte that directly attacks and destorys infected body cells, cancerous cells, and the cells of transplanted tissues.

Helper T-Cell

A type of T cell that is required by some B cells to help them make antibodies or that helps other T cells respond to antigens or secrete lymphokines or interleukins.

T-Cell Receptor

Antigen recptores on a T cell. Unlike antibodies, T cell recptors are never prduced in a secreted form.

T-Lymphocyte

A type of lymphocyte responsible for cell-mediated immunity that differentiates under the influence of the thymus.

Antigen

A substance that stimulates an immune response.

Autoimmune Diseases

An immunological disorder in which the immune system turns against itself.

Nonspecific Immune System Cells

Immune system that does not differentiate between one infectious agent and another. Has two lines- internal and external.

Phagocytes

Cells that use phagocytosis to engulf foreign organisms.

Monocytes/Macrophages

Perform same functions as Neutrophils but for a longer time.

Immune Response Induction

Stimulates the immune response.

Immune Response

The body's defensive reaction to invasion by bacteria, viral agents, or other foreign substances.

B Cell

Lymphocyte that matures in the bone marrow and later produces antibodies; responsible for humoral immunity.

Humoral Response

The branch of acquired immunity that involves the activation of B cells and that leads to the production of antibodies, which defend against bacteria and viruses in body fluids.

Cell Mediated Response

The branch of acquired immunity that involves the activation of cytotoxic T cells, which defend against infected cells.

Perforin

A protein secreted by a cytotoxic T-cell that lyse (ruptures) an infected cell by perforting its membrane.

Interleukin 1 & 2

Chemicals that are released which attract White Blood Cells.

Antigen Presenting Cells

A cell that facilitates the immune response by holding antigens on its surface and presenting them to lymphocytes.

Primary Immune Response

The initial acquired immune response to an antigen, which appears after a lag of about 10 to 17 days.

Secondary Immune Response

The adaptive immune response provoked by a second exposure to an antigen. It differs from the primary response by starting sooner and building more quickly.

Pyrogens

Molecules that set the body's thermostat to a higher temperature. They are released by certain leukocytes.

Histamine

Chemical alarm signal released by mast cells that causes blood vessels to dilate during an inflammatory response.

Basophils

A White Blood cell that enter damaged tissues and enhance the inflammation process and contain histamine and heparin.

Mast Cells

Cells that release chemicals (such as histamine) that promote inflammation.

Inflammatory Response

Nonspecific defense against infection, characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain.

Phagocytosis

Process in which extensions of cytoplasm surround and engulf large particles and take them into the cell.

Antibodies

Specialized proteins that aid in destroying infectious agents

Neutrophils

The most abundant type of white blood cell. Neutrophils are phagocytic and tend to self-destruct as they destroy foreign invaders, limiting their life span to a few days.

Lysozyme

An enzyme that lyses bacterial cell walls. Lysozyme is produced in the end stages of the lytic cycle so that new viral particles can escape their host; it is also found in human tears and human saliva.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

An antibody-mediated autoimmune disease that leads to damage and painful inflammation of the cartilage and bone of joints.

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