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Adaptive immune system


11th March 2015

Dr Farhan Cyprian
Assistant Professor Immunology
College of Medicine
M27-167 Ext:7236

Divisions in the immune system

Adaptive immune responses are initiated by

antigen and antigen-presenting cells in
secondary lymphoid tissues

Cell mediated immunity

Initially defined as: immunity that can be
transferred from one organism to another by
cells (lymphoid cells), but not by serum
An adaptive immune response mediated by
specific cells of the immune system
Primarily T lymphocytes (T cells), but also macrophages and
Natural Killer cells (NK cells).
T cells are the main agents of cellular immunity

Role of cell mediated immunity

Important host defence against:
Bacteria and viruses that are inside host cells
and are inaccessible to antibodies
Fungi, protozoa, helminths
Cancer cells
Transplanted organs & tissue

Acquired Immune System

Humoral immunity
B lymphocytes

Cell-mediated immunity
T lymphocytes

B cell receptor
The B cell receptor (BCR) is made up of
the antibody associated with Ig & Ig

B cell response

B cells recognize free

(soluble) antigen in the
blood or lymph using their B
cell receptor (BCR) or
membrane boundimmunoglobulin.

Action of Antibodies

Acquired Immune System

Humoral immunity
B lymphocytes

Cell-mediated immunity
T lymphocytes

Accessory proteins signal transduction

TCR complex
CD3 epsilon (x 2)
CD3 gamma
CD3 delta
Zeta chains (x 2)

T cells
Defined by their development in the Thymus and
the presence of a T-cell receptor (TCR) complex
Two main types:
1. CD4+
2. CD8+

CD4 and CD8 molecules in T cells

CD4 T cells recognize
MHC class II molecules
CD8 T cells recognize
MHC class I molecules

MHC is a closely linked complex of genes that govern
production of the major histo-compatibility molecules
In humans MHC genes are found on the short arm of
chromosome 6 (HLA complex of genes is located on
chromosome 6)
MHC Class I
Transcription MHC-I protein expression on cell

MHC class II
Transcription MHC-II protein expression on cell

Th1 vs Th2 response in CD4 T cells

Cell-mediated immunity





Humoral immunity

IL-12, IFN



Components of the Immune System:

Innate vs Adaptive Elements

>95% of species survive just

fine with only the innate
immune system


Figure 1-1

Antigen capture by the

immune system

Presentation of antigen to T cells

Fig. 5-17

Sequence of events in an immune response

Components of the Immune System:

Division of Labor



Phases of the Adaptive Immune Response

Abbas 5th Ed Fig 1-6

Specificity and memory in immune responses

Abbas 5th
Ed Fig 1-4

Smallpox is the earliest

disease found to induce
lifelong immunity, using
variolation (a form of

Long-lived memory cells with

specificity for smallpox
antigens are responsible for
the lifelong immunity against
this virus

Dr Farhan Cyprian
Ext: 7236