Questions tagged [immune-system]

This tag is for general questions related directly or indirectly to the vertebrate immune system, but are not questions directly related to Immunology, the discipline of the study of the immune system.

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What is the end-point of material from an apoptotic cell, after phagocytosis?

Apoptosis occurs. The organelles and interior material form apoptotic bodies that are packed in vesicles. The cell membrane breaks apart (cell no longer exists) and apoptotic bodies enter the ...
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Is there evidence that children should play in dirt to get healthy?

I've heard it said many times, that we should let children play in the dirt as it builds up their immunity and prevents things like allergies in later life. I have another suggestion which, to me, is ...
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Can a pathogen be totally resistant to the human immune system?

Can a pathogenic organism be totally resistant to the human immune system? For the purpose of this question, the organism in question must cause a disease. Examples of organisms that would qualify as ...
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Why do NK cells not destroy bacteria, even though bacteria don't have MHC-I?

Part of the function of NK cells is to destroy cells that are unable to bind their KIR receptors. Or in other words, cells that don't express MHC class I. This is why they can kill MHC supressed ...
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Immune response to IgA positive bacteria

If certain bacteria can be coated with IgA in vitro, does that mean they are likely to elicit an IgA immune response? Edit I'm working on a project that involves IgA-Seq analysis. Bacteria are coated ...
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Why aren't all strongly self-recognizing T cells made into regulatory T cells?

Negative selection in T cell development is often simply described as preventing effector T cells from recognizing self-antigens. This is complicated by regulatory T cells developing from T cells with ...
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How does the immune system recognize harmful proteins?

How does the human immune system detect whether a protein happens to be a protein found in the body that is supposed to be there, a bacterial toxin that should be inactivated, an already inactivated ...
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145 views

Why don't allergies cause fever?

Allergy To my understanding, an allergy is a hypersensitivity of the immune system causing a substance in the environment to be identified as pathogenic by the immune system while it is not ...
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Is there any explaination to homeopathies in modern biology sciences? [duplicate]

I'd like to know if there is any sort of explaination from rigurous biological arguments which could potentially explain how homeopathies could work? I'm not talking about placebo effects (...
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125 views

Lobed Nuclei still count as One nucleus?

Do the Lobed Nuclei of immune cells (such as Megakaryocytes) still count as one nucleus?
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How are Cytotoxic T cells transfered?

We learned that Cytotoxic T cells are MHC dependent, and if CMH matchup doesn't occur between the T cell and the cancer cell for example, the former won't attack the latter. If this is the case then ...
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Understanding transplant rejection - how does the cellular, adaptive, response get underway

This lay person is trying to get his head around the basic mechanisms of tissue rejection. A lot of articles talk about T-cells being involve but I'm having difficulty following this. Human tissue ...
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113 views

Why isn't suppression of immune system for organ transplant not as dangerous as AIDS?

I've read that when AIDS symptoms show up, life expectancy is about two years if no treatment is applied. On the other hand, I've also read that people having an organ transplant need to take immune ...
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James Allison's T-cell discovery technique

The excerpt on Wired magazine of The Breakthrough by Charles Graeber has the following description of how James Allison found the T-cell receptor. Suddenly it seemed so obvious: If Allision could ...
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Is a species lifespan affected by meat consumption?

I read a review-like article about the hypothesis of Caleb E. Finch in a science magazine. The article of interest engages with the idea of Finch "[arguing] that immune functions and nutrition ...
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70 views

Why do we have an immune system?

My daughter asked a question that I could not answer. If you have a cold, you have symptoms such as fever, cold and sore throat. These symptoms, however, are the reactions of the immune system to ...
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What is the difference between cytokine and chemokine?

I often see these terms being used in inflammation, and I'd like to know, are they synonymous with each other or do they mean different things? Also could someone provide an example of each?
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What is the length and number of the parts of a conformational epitope?

I am interested in the question whether exposure to protein A might create antibodies that also bind to protein B. I am wondering whether, if the antigen of protein A is a conformational epitope, it ...
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28 views

How similar do proteins have to be to trigger the same immune response?

The title really says it all. How precise or vague is the immunity we get from vaccination or from having encountered a germ before? Is it about protein parts that are recognised if they are ...
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Allergy desensitization: what is the mechanism? Could it happen with other immune responses? [closed]

Allergy is a type of immune response against an otherwise harmless substance. If I understand it well, the aim of allergy immunotherapy is not to stimulate an immune response like the immunotherapy ...
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Is it logical for someone to be allergic to the water molecule, but be perfectly fine with drinking milk since it's only 87% water molecules? [closed]

Recently this article got into the tabloids. The comments were disabled very quickly. Strange. The authos says she has Aquagenic Urticaria but it is a skin condition not an allergy, and hence wouldn'...
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238 views

Why do neutrophils need to die after pathogen phagocytosis?

From referenced article below, neutrophils need to be removed because its granule contents and oxygen metabolites (used for killing phagocytosed pathogen) are harmful to the surrounding tissue. Thus, ...
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220 views

Why exactly does the immune system weaken with age?

Why does the immune system become weaker with age in humans and in some other mammals? Let's try to be more specific than just "everything degrades with age."
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Animals as organ donors and organ's life expectancy

Recent attempts to find reliable organ donors was using genetically-engineered (GE) pigs as heart donors. The pig's DNA is altered so that its tissues will appear identical to the patient's tissue and ...
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Why do alpha-gal allergies only occur after a tick bite if alpha-gal is already present in red meat?

I just read an NPR article about allergies to red meat being caused by tick bites. That stood out to me because I thought allergies are triggered by an initial exposure to some allergen. In this case, ...
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B -Cell activation by helper T cell

When Dendritic cell travels to nearby lymph node with antigen presented on MHC II molecule, the helper T-cell residing there gets activated. But what happens to B- cell residing there? Does it get ...
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Does avoiding medication that alleviates symptoms to shorten the length of a cold?

People use over the counter (OTC) medications to relieve symptoms of the common cold. However, these symptoms are part of the immune response, right? They are driven by the body responding to the ...
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How are Antibody and T-cell receptor different?

Since the helper T-cell bonds with specific antigen presented by dendritic cell and that same helper T-cell also activates B-cell by bonding with antigen presented by B-cell, it made me think that the ...
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The difference between Mast Cells and Basophils

While reading the Wikipedia article on Mast cells, I came across something that confused me. What is the major difference between a Mast Cell and Basophil? They both seem to do the same exact ...
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Immune System - B-cell receptors

How do the B-cells, which are a part of our body, develop antibodies against antigens of the outside world (outside of our body), which they don't even know about? Is it just a random match?
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Are there macrophages in the blood vessels and within the blood stream?

Monocytes are phagocytes that "evolve" or "differentiate" into macrophages. I read that there are monocytes in the blood stream and vessels and that macrophages are found mainly in other tissues and ...
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Does contracting Rubella give one some kind of immunity to Measles and vice versa?

Both these diseases- Measles and Rubella, have very similar symptoms, have similar complications and are often confused for one another. And both the diseases have a common MMR vaccine. So, are the ...
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Regarding Passive Aritficial Immunity: Why does the concentration of the foreign antibodies decrease over time?

So, like suggested in question, I am extremely confused about this one concept. That whether or not the injection of foreign antibodies ( passive artificial immunity ) triggers an immune response. ...
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177 views

How do memory cells(B-cells) encounter pathogens?

From what I understand, once the infection is handled, some of the B cells capable of producing the correct antigens are stored for the long-term in the lymph nodes. They will start multiplying again ...
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Is there a organ or type of cell that makes Nagalase?

Schindler disease / Kanzaki disease is being described as alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase deficiency. So then, which organ or cell(s) produce this alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (Nagalase) ?
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Are cytotoxic (killer) T-cells always present or are they only produced during a cell mediated immune response?

The book I'm studying says the following "During a cell mediated immune response, the release of IL-2 by helper T-cells is resposible for stimulating the production of Cytotoxic T-cells, which have ...
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Why are vaccines a successful treatment of allergy?

As I understand the answer to Allergic rhinitis vaccine, the vaccine facilitates immune response against the antigen. Given that allergy is an overreaction of the immune system against harmless ...
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Number of different clones of B lymphocytes

My professor told us that there are about a million different B cells based on their surface receptor. I have read that we have about 30000 genes in all. Since receptors are proteins how do these ...
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What natural defence mechanism does the human body have against lead poisoning?

It is known that lead ion takes place of necessary ions, like calcium, in the body, but does not perform their task, hence wrecking the system. So how does the body eventually recognise this threat ...
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How does antibody structure relate to function? [closed]

I know that antibodies have 2 binding sites (as Y shape) so they can bind to 2 pathogens for agglutination. They have a hinge, heavy and light chains, constant and variable sections on these chains. ...
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114 views

Why is full cell/high antigen dose pertussis vaccine dangerous for adults?

I do remember that I have read (or heard) somewhere that as a human is older, the whole cell vaccine (and high antigen dose one) has more and more adverse effects. As it is consistent with the target ...
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Why Can't The Immune Systems of Uncontacted Tribes Handle Our Common Colds?

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm just starting my first year of a biomedicine degree and I'm curious - googling didn't find me any answers. I know that the Aboriginal Australians and many ...
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126 views

If senescent cells are removed by the immune system, how can they contribute to ageing?

It is said that senescent cells, also called zombie cells, can cause biological ageing. These senescent cells are also killed by immune cells. It does not make sense as to how they cause ageing if ...
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Why it is important to vaccinate a human newborn within 24 hours since birth?

In Poland a newborn has to be vaccinated within 24 hours against hepatitis B and tuberculosis. As I understand it is good to be vaccinated against both, I do not see the need to hurry so much. ...
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What do memory cells actually do?

So I know that memory cells "remember" the most efficient way to kill a pathogen should it show up again... but what is the mechanism by which memory cells become activated by the second contact with ...
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Is there any antibody-forming immune system without immunological memory?

Is it possible for an immune system to exist that makes antibodies but does not possess any kind of immunological memory? If so, what examples are there?
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Theoretical question: Would immune cells that produce blue light be an effective and better alternative to inflammation? [closed]

It's well known that blue light is effective against a wide range of bacteria (type "antibacterial blue light" into Google for starters). This article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23009190) ...
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The use of cytotoxic T-cells

The video below mentions whether the dendritic should call in a 'anti-virus force' or an 'army of bacteria killers'. The video goes on to talk about how bacteria is killed, using B-cells, but there's ...
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How exactly does a prion cause disease?

During my study of the immune system, I came across 2 very contrasting explanation as to how prions work. Firstly, scientific American pointed out this: link here: "A major breakthrough ...
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CD4+ as Monocytes cell surface receptors

Today in class, our teacher was discussing about the pathogenecity of the HIV virus. He said that the binding between HIV virus and macrophages is done by the interaction between the GP120 of the ...