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The Immune Response. The 3 rd line of defense (Adaptive or acquired immunity). Specific Defenses. The immune system Consists of a large number of cells that work together to respond to a specific microbe or foreign invader. Two properties

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the immune response

The Immune Response

The 3rd line of defense

(Adaptive or acquired immunity)

specific defenses
Specific Defenses
  • The immune system
    • Consists of a large number of cells that work together to respond to a specific microbe or foreign invader.
  • Two properties
    • Specificity for particular foreign molecules (antigens)
    • Memory for previously encountered antigens
definitions see vocab sheet
Definitions (see Vocab sheet)
  • Antigens
    • Are foreign substances that trigger an immune response
    • Most are pathogens
  • Antibodies
    • Are proteins found in blood plasma that attach to one particular kind of antigen and mark it for destruction.
  • Antibodies

HIV Virus


  • Y-shaped proteins that bind foreign molecules (antigens)
    • Produced by a white blood cell called the B cell
The immune response has two main parts:
    • Humoral – involving antibodies
    • Cell Mediated – involving white blood cells.
the 4 cells involved in the immune response
The 4 cells involved in the immune response
  • Macrophages/Dendritic cells
  • Cytotoxic (Killer) T Cells
  • B Cells – Plasma and Memory cells
  • Helper T Cells (Effector cells)



humoral antibody mediated response
Humoral (antibody mediated) Response
  • Macrophages/dendritic cells phagocytose microbes.
  • Some of the digested material (antigen) is then displayed on the surface of the macrophage/dendritic cell.
  • This allows the immune system to recognize the invader and become activated.
  • The process is known as: Antigen Presentation
T cells are floating in the circulation. They carry receptors on the surface of their cell that are complementary to the antigen being presented.
  • T helper cells (Th ) or effector cells recognize and bind to displayed antigen.
This binding causes macrophages to release Interleukin I.
  • Interleukin I causes Th cells to release Interleukin II
  • Interleukin II stimulates division of Th cells and cytotoxic T cells, amplifying body response to infection.
Interleukin II released by Th cells also activates B cells.
  • Activated B cells divide and develop in to Plasma cells that release Y shaped antibodies into the blood.
  • Antibodies will bind to a specific antigen (the one originally presented by macrophage)
The binding of antibodies causes antigens to stick together, forming clumps that can be easily identified and destroyed by macrophages.
  • B cells also divide into memory cells which will be rapidly activated if presented with same antigen in the future.
cell mediated response
Cell Mediated Response
  • Th release Interleukin II activating cytotoxic T cells
  • Activated cytotoxic T cells destroy infected cells by puncturing their cell membranes.
  • CytotoxicT cells recognize antigens because they have complementary receptors on the surface of their cells.
Both the T cell and B cell response are regulated by helper T cells. Both responses happen simultaneously.
  • Both B and cytotoxic T cells create memory cells.