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acquired immunity

Formation of antibodies and lymphocytes after exposure to an antigen.


Masses of lymphatic tissue in the nasopharynx.


Protein produced by B cell lymphocytes to destroy antigens.


Substance that the body recognizes as foreign; evokes an immune response.

axillary node

Any of the 20 to 30 lymph nodes in the armpit.

B cell

Lymphocyte that originates in the bone marrow and transforms into a plasma cell to secrete antibodies.

cell-mediated immunity

An immune response involving T lymphocytes; antigens are destroyed by direct action of cells, as opposed to by antibodies.

cervical node

One of many lymph nodes in the neck region.


Protein that aids antigen destruction.

cytotoxic T cell

T lymphocyte that directly kills foreign cells.

dendritic cell

Cell that ingests antigens and presents them to T cells.

helper T cell

Lymphocyte that aids B cells in recognizing antigens and stimulating antibody production; also called T4 cell.

humoral immunity

Immune response in which B cells transform into plasma cells and secrete antibodies.

immune response

Body's capacity to resist foreign organisms and toxins that can damage tissue and organs; humoral and cell-mediated immunity.


Antibodies such as IgA, IgE, IgC, IgM, and IgD that are secreted by plasma cells in humoral immunity.


Use of immunologic knowledge and techniques to treat or prevent disease.

inguinal node

One of several lymph nodes in the groin region.


Antiviral proteins secreted by T cells; also stimulate macrophages to ingest bacteria.


Proteins that stimulate the growth of B or T lymphocytes and activate specific components of the immune response.

interstitial fluid

Fluid in the spaces between cells. This fluid becomes lymph when it enters lymph capillaries.

killer T cell

Cytotoxin T cell lymphocyte that recognizes and destroys foreign cells.


Thin, watery fluid found within lymphatic vessels and collected from tissues throughout the body.

lymph capillaries

Tiniest lymphatic vessels.

lymphoid organs

Lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus gland.

lymph node

Stationary solid lymphatic tissue along lymph vessels.

lymph vessel

Carrier of lymph throughout the body; lymphatic vessels empty lymph into veins in the upper part of the chest.


Large phagocyte found in lymph nodes and other tissues of the body.

mediastinal node

Any of many lymph nodes in the area between the lungs in the thoracic cavity.

monoclonal antibody

Antibody produced in a laboratory to attack antigens.

natural immunity

An individual's own genetic ability to fight off disease.

plasma cell

Lymphoid cell that secretes an anitbody and originates from B lymphocytes.

right lymphatic duct

Large lymphatic vessel in the chest that receives lymph from the upper right part of the body.


Organ near the stomach that produces, stores, and eliminates blood cells.

suppressor T cell

Lymphocyte that inhibits the activity of B and T lymphocytes.

T cell

Lymphocyte that originates in the bone marrow but matures in the thymus gland; it acts directly on antigens to destroy them or produce chemicals such as interferons and interleukins that are toxic to antigens.


In the thymus, T lymphocytes learn to recognize and accept the body's own antigens as "self" or friendly.

thoracic duct

Large lymphatic vessel in the chest that receives lymph from below the diaphragm and from the left side of the body above the diaphragm; it empties the lymph into veins in the upper chest.

thymus gland

Organ in the mediastinum that produces T lymphocytes and aids in the immune response.


Masses of lymphatic tissue in the back of the oropharynx.


Poison; a protein produced by certain bacteria, animals, or plants.


Introduction of altered antigens to produce an immune response and protection against disease.


Weakened or killed microorganisms or toxins administered to induce immunity to infection or disease.

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