The immune system is a complex system that protects organism against causative aetiological agents of a disease. The immune system protects the body from infection in several stages, increasing with each stage the specificity of protection. The simplest line of defense is physical barriers, such as skin and mucous membranes. If the agent penetrates through these barriers, it finds itself subjected to intermediate nonspecific reaction from the innate immune system. Innate immune system is an integral part of all plants and animals.
In the case, when aetiological agents successfully overcome the impact of innate immune system, in vertebrates there is a third level of protection – acquired immune defenses. This part of the immune system adapts its response during the infection process, to improve the recognition of foreign biological material. This improved response persists after destruction of the pathogen in the form of immunological memory. It enables mechanisms of acquired immunity to develop faster and stronger response at each occurrence of the same pathogen.
The human immune system comprises central organs – the brain and thymus – and peripheral – spleen, lymph nodes, and lymphoid tissue. These bodies produce several types of cells, and oversee the constancy of cellular and antigenic composition of the internal environment.
The main immune cells are the phagocytes and lymphocytes (B and T lymphocytes). They circulate through blood stream and lymph system, some of them may penetrate the fabric. All cells of the immune system have certain functions and operate in a complex interaction, which provides special formulation of biologically active agents – cytokines. You have probably heard names such as interferons, interleukins, and the like. This so-called cytokines, in which the immune system can exchange information and coordinate their actions.
Immune system came with multicellular organisms and developed as an assistant of their survival. It combines the organs and tissues, which guarantee protection of the body from genetically foreign cells and substances, which come from the environment.
The organization and functioning of the immune system is similar to those of the nervous system. Both systems are represented by central and peripheral organs, able to respond to different signals have a large number of receptor structures, specific memory.
The immune system mechanisms provide phagocytes and antibodies. It “remembers” those foreign substances with which she has ever met and to which intrusion responded. It creates defense – anticontagious, antitranslant, anticancer. Immunity protects the body from infectious diseases, frees it from the dead, mutated and foreign cells. We cannot live without it.
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