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A coat of protein molecules called the capsid o Some may have an additional lipid envelope ∙ Many bacteria perform useful functions, while others cause serious diseases (E. coli) ∙ Bacteria are classified living organisms that reproduce on their own without taking over host cells ∙ Bacteria are prokaryotes and do not have a nucleus ∙ Genetic material consists of a single DNA chromosome o May contain extra‐chromosomal “plasmid” DNA ∙ Bacteria typically do not invade cells ∙ Bacteria may produce toxins ∙ Bacteria respond to antibiotics; viruses do not Immunity ∙ Resistance to disease ∙ Immune system has two intrinsic systems o Innate (nonspecific) defense system o Adaptive (specific) defense system Antigens ∙ Substances that trigger an immune response ∙ Antigens are antibody‐generating substances ∙ Large molecular weight molecules, particularly proteins and polysaccharides ∙ Small molecules generally do not generate an immune response o Some molecules (penicillin, formaldehyde, poison ivy toxin) will bind with cellular proteins forming unique (foreign) protein complexes ∙ Microbes and viruses contain foreign proteins and sugars on their surfaces act as antigens ∙ Cells transplanted from one person to another elicit immune responses due to the individual “cellular fingerprint” of each cell ∙ Cancer cells produce slightly different “cellular fingerprints”, causing an immune response
The First Line of Defense – Physical Barrier ∙ Thick layer of epidermal cells ∙ Cells are produced from the base of the epidermis and cells move outward, become flattened and die ∙ Cells contain tight junctions – impede microbial penetration ∙ Dead cells contain keratin – fairly waterproof ∙ Passages penetrating into the interior of the body include: respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts ∙ These passageways have epithelial linings with cilia First Line of Defense ‐ Chemical ∙ In the epithelial linings o Mucus o Antibodies ∙ Digestive enzymes in tears and saliva (lysozyme) ∙ Stomach is highly acidic ∙ Urinary tract is maintained at a low pH Second Line of Defense – Innate Immunity ∙ Combats infectious agents that penetrate the first line and consists of cellular and chemical responses. ∙ Once a pathogen enters the body, macrophages engulf it and release cytokines to attract dendritic cells, neutrophils, and more macrophages ∙ Four other nonspecific mechanisms include o The inflammatory response o Pyrogens o Interferons o Complement Inflammatory Response ∙ Characterized by redness and swelling ∙ Begins with the release of a variety of chemicals by the injured tissues ∙ Some chemicals attract macrophages (tissues) and neutrophils (blood) ∙ Histamine is released and stimulates arterioles in the injured tissue to dilate ∙ This increase in blood flow is responsible for the heat and redness o Heat increases the metabolic rates of the cells, speeding healing ∙ Plasma brings oxygen, nutrients, and clotting factors o Results in swelling of affected tissues – causing pain o Also helps to immobilize the affected area Prostaglandins – another pain causing chemical o Aspirin works by inhibiting its synthesis and release
Pyrogens ∙ Molecules released primarily by macrophages exposed to bacteria ∙ They travel to the hypothalamus and cause an increase in body temperature ∙ Mild fevers o Cause the spleen and liver to remove iron from the blood o Increases cellular metabolism speeding cellular defenses ∙ High fever (over 105 F) can destroy our own proteins Interferons ∙ A group of proteins released by cells infected by viruses, ∙ They travel to other cells, where they trigger the synthesis of various antiviral proteins ∙ Interferons do not protect cells already infected with viruses – they work by stopping the spread of viruses ∙ Once cells are infected with replicating viruses they kill themselves through a process of programmed cell death (apoptosis)
Complement System ∙ Complement proteins circulate in the blood in an inactive state ∙ The become activated only when the body is invaded by bacteria or other microbes ∙ Five proteins in the complement system join to form a large protein complex, known as the membrane attack complex (MAC) ∙ This complex imbeds in the plasma membrane of the microbe creating an open channel in which water flows ∙ This causes the microbe to swell and burst Complement System ∙ Other functions of the complement system o Stimulate the dilation and permeability of blood vessels o Act as chemical attractants for macrophages, monocytes, and neutrophils o Some can bind to the surface of microorganisms, forming a rough coat which facilitates their phagocytosis Third Line of Defense ‐ The Immune System ∙ Designed to eliminate viruses and microbes ∙ Lymphocytes circulate in the blood and lymph and take up residence in the lymphoid organs and lymphoid tissues ∙ Adaptive immunity has three defining features: o It is specific ‐ each B and T cell only recognizes one antigen o It is diverse ‐ B and T cells collectively can recognize at least a billion different threats o It has memory. ∙ Important in the prevention of emerging cancer cells ∙ Antigens stimulate two types of lymphocytes: o T‐lymphocytes (T cells) o B‐lymphocytes (B cells) ∙ As a rule, B cells recognize and react to microorganisms such as bacteria and bacterial toxins, and a few viruses o Generally those organisms/antigens circulating in the blood ∙ Once activated, B cells produce antibodies ∙ T cells recognize virus infected cells and our own cells that have changed their “cellular fingerprint” ∙ Can be due to cancer, transplanted cells, virus infection ∙ T cells also respond to larger disease organisms – fungi and parasites ∙ Unlike B cells, T cells attack their targets directly
Immunocompetence ∙ Lymphocytes produced in the bone marrow are released into the bloodstream ∙ T‐Cells o Immature T cells will eventually make their way to the thymus, where they mature into functional T cells A lymphoid organ (gland) located above the heart o Functional T cells have developed the ability to recognize a specific antigen ∙ B‐Cells o B cells mature and differentiate in the bone marrow o Each B cell recognizes a specific antigen ∙ Once mature, both B and T cells circulate in the blood and lymph looking for their specific antigen Immune Defenses – Part II Adaptive Immune Response Red blood cells Platelets MHC Proteins Monocytes, others ∙ Classes of MHC proteins o Class I MHC proteins, found on virtually all body cells o Class II MHC proteins, found on certain cells in the immune response ∙ MHC proteins display peptides (usually self‐antigens) ∙ In infected cells, MHC proteins display fragments of foreign antigens, which help mobilize B cells
Bone marrow Stem cells
Organs of lymphatic system Foreign invasion B cells T cells
Antibody-mediated immune response
Cell-mediated immune response
Immune Defenses ∙ B cells and T cells respond to pathogens in different ways. o B cells produce antibodies (proteins) and are responsible for antibody‐mediated immunity o T cells directly attack invaders; their response is called cell‐mediated immunity ∙ Antigen‐presenting cells introduce antigens to T cells and B cells. o T cells and B cells can only “see” antigens that have been processed by an antigen‐presenting cell (APC) Macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells can all present antigen The antigen is ingested and digested; then its fragments displayed on the cell’s surface B‐Cells and Antibodies ∙ Antibodies develop while B cells are in bone marrow o They are a class of proteins known as immunoglobulins o An antibody has a Y‐shaped protein structure; antigens are bound by the two “arms” of the antibody. o No two B cells make antibodies that are alike; this allows both diversity and specificity. o B cells make many copies of their antibodies, which are inserted in the plasma membrane, arms sticking out and ready to bind antigen.
Antibodies ∙ Plasma cells can release up to 2,000 antibodies per minute into the bloodstream; these antibodies “flag” invaders for destruction by phagocytes and complement. ∙ Antibodies destroy antigens in one of four ways: o Neutralization Antibodies bind to viruses or bacteria and completely coat them, preventing them to binding to our cells o Agglutination Antibodies bind numerous antigens, causing them to clump together o Precipitation Antibodies bind to soluble antigens, forming larger, water insoluble molecules o Activation of the complement system
T‐cells ∙ T cells attack foreign cells directly ∙ T cells differentiate into at least four cell types, each with a separate function in cell‐mediated immunity o Cytotoxic T‐cells Destroy cells infected with viruses Attack and kill bacteria, fungi, parasites and cancer cells o Helper T‐cells Coordinate the attack of both B‐ and T‐cells Produce factors that stimulate B‐cell proliferation and antibody production Enhance the activity of Cytotoxic T‐cells o Memory T‐cells Remain in the body awaiting reintroduction of previously introduced antigen o Suppressor T cells Inhibit the immune response
Immune Defenses – Part III Immunity Immunity ∙ Two types of immunity are possible o Active Causes an active immune response, producing B‐ and T‐cells Vaccines containing a dead or weakened virus, bacterium, or bacterial toxin Generally long lasting due to memory immune cells o Passive Immune cells are not activated Can be achieved by injecting antibodies into a patient By the transfer of antibodies from a mother to her baby Generally short lived Immunological Memory ∙ Memory cells form during the primary (first) response to an antigen and remain in the blood for years or decades ∙ Secondary responses to the same antigen are much faster; plasma cells and effector T cells form sooner and in greater numbers, preventing infection
Allergies ∙ An allergy is an immune response to a normally harmless substance called an allergen o Allergens include: pollen, some foods and drugs, dust mites, fungal spores, insect venom, and certain ingredients in cosmetics o Allergens trigger mild to severe inflammation of various tissues ∙ Allergies are caused by IgE antibodies, produced by plasma cells ∙ IgE antibodies bind to mast cells, which causes them to release histamine and other chemical substances that induce the symptoms of an allergy—production of mucus, sneezing, and itching. Tissue Rejection ∙ This can occur when cytotoxic T cells respond to tissue that is not recognized as “self” tissue ∙ This can be controlled by giving patients immunosuppressive drugs and by transplanting organs that have the same MHC proteins in the donor and recipient ∙ Currently we are trying to grow organs in the lab that can be transplanted with less rejection Disorders of the Immune System ∙ Autoimmune diseases: o A disease in which cytotoxic T cells or antibodies attack the body’s own cells as if they were foreign o Examples: multiple sclerosis, lupus, myasthenia gravis and rheumatoid arthritis ∙ Immunodeficiency disease: o A disease in which the immune system is compromised and thus unable to defend the body against disease o Examples: AIDS and SCID
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