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Immune System

The Immune System helps remove unwanted substances from the body.

Contents


Purpose of the Immune System

Protection and Cleanup
The Immune System Defends and Clears the Body of Unwanted Substances. These substances can be foreign invaders or body cells that are unwanted.
1. "Non-Self" - Outside Factors
- Microbes - Bacteria, Virus, Fungi, Parasites
- Toxins and Damaging Substances
- Foreign Bodies - Splinter, etc.

2. "Self" Factors
- Removes "Self" Cells That Are:
---- Dead or Dying
---- Damaged
---- Infected
---- Marked for removal
---- Cancer Cells
Healing and Repair
The Immune System is a primary inducer of healing after tissue is Damaged or following Inflammation or Infection.
Immune Memory
The Immune System has cells which essentially "Remember" specific Antigens, even years after the Immune Response has finished. This Immune Memory is the premise behind Vaccinations.
- Immune Memory allows for a faster and more specific Immune Response.
Self Regulation of the Immune Response
Following induction of the Immune Response, factors are released that allow the Immune System to downregulate or turn itself off. If these self-regulatory mechanisms do not function properly it can result in Chronic Inflammation.
Anergy
Desensitization

Categories of Immune System

The Immune System is separated into two groups:
The Innate Immune System
The Innate Immune System which is a generalized, nonspecific immune response
The Adaptive Immune System
The Adaptive Immune System is specifically focused toward particular antigens, but is slower to induce than innate immunity.
The Adaptive Immune Response can further be subdivided into two categories:
- Cell - Mediated Immune System
- Humoral Immune System


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