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Flashcards in Module 1: Intro to Immunology Deck (20)
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the study of how the body responds to protect itself form foreign agents



the ability to respond to foreign antigens


2 types

innate and adaptive


innate immunity

natural; describes all defence mechanisms that are present from birth and protect an individual from injury by foreign or abnormal agents


defence mechanisms of innate immunity

mechanical (skin, mucous membrane)
chemicals and antimicrobials (body fluids)
Phagocytes and Natural killer (NK) cells(provide cellular responses)
Inflammation (vasc dilation, increased vasc permeability, accumulation of leukocytes, fever)
Complement (proteins tag microbes for destruction)
Acute phase proteins (plasma proteins produced by liver)


acute phase proteins

produced by liver in increased amounts as part pf the innate immune response to infection
hepatocytes respond to chemical signals (cytokines)


Acute phase protein: CRP

CRP bines to phosphorylcholine of bacterial or fungal cell walls, activating complement and enhancing opsonization and clearance of the antigen by macrophages

Increase seen in plasma levels: 100-1000x (6hrs post injury)


Acute phase protein: Haptoglobin

Binds free hgb, sequesters the iron thereby inhbiting uptake of iron by microbes

Increase seen in plasma levels: 2-4x


Acute phase protein: fibrinogen

coagulation factor. Fibrinogen is the precursor to a fibrin clot and is increased during inflammation and tissue damage to help wall off damage

Increase seen in plasma levels: 2-4x (24-48hrs post injury)


Acute phase protein: Alpha 1 - Antitrypsin

leukocytes release proteases during the inflammatory process. Release of too much protease may lead to tissue damage. Alpha 1 antityrpsin combines with proteases to inhibit their activity (down regulates inflammation)
Increase seen in plasma levels: 2-4x


Acute phase protein: Ceruloplasmin

the copper carried by ceruloplasmin is essential for wound healing

Increase seen in plasma levels:50%


Acute phase protein: alpha 2 macroglobulin

inhibits coagulation by inhibiting thrombin and inhibits fibrinolysis by inhibiting plasmin

Increase seen in plasma levels: 50%


Adaptive immunity

mediated by lymphocytes and is learned or acquired as we encounter the challenging agents


key features of adaptive immunity

Self discrimination (wont make Ab to ourselves)
Specificity/Diversity (immune responses are tailors to that particular Ag)
Adaptiveness/specialization (response is optimal for defence against that Ag)
Memory (enhances responses to repeated exposure to the same Ag)
Deactivation mechanisms (suppressive mechanisms exist to ensure the immune response does not itself become destructive)


2 branches of adaptive immunity

humoral and cellular


Humoral immunity

production of plasma proteins/immunoglobulins (Ab)
Ab coat invading pathogen and target them for destruction by phagocytosis and complement activation

*Extracellular antigens


Cellular immunity

involves T lymphs
T cell recognizes protein antigens only when displayed by Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs; process Ag and display peptide fragements)
T cell produces cytokines
Intracellular antigens


how do innate and adaptive work together

innate is regulated by adaptive
innate can kick adaptive into high gear


Active immunity

occurs due to exposure to foreign antigen
your immune system is activated to respond


passive immunity

achieved by transfer of Ab or lymphocytes from another individual that has been exposed to the antigen