Loftus, Douglas J. Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.
- Cells involved
- Antigen recognition
- Antigen presentation
- MHC molecules
- Additional Readings
The field concerning the interactions among cells and molecules of the immune system, and how such interactions contribute to the recognition and elimination of pathogens. Humans (and vertebrates in general) possess a range of nonspecific mechanical and biochemical defenses against routinely encountered bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi. The skin, for example, is an effective physical barrier to infection. Basic chemical defenses are also present in blood, saliva, and tears, and on mucous membranes. These defenses are nonspecific in that they may be effective against a broad array of organisms. Nonspecific or innate defense mechanisms offer only limited protection against pathogenic organisms, which can proliferate rapidly and overwhelm these first-line defenses. True protection stems from the host's ability to mount responses targeted to specific organisms, and to retain a form of “memory” that results in a rapid, efficient response to a given organism upon a repeat encounter. This more formal sense of immunity, termed adaptive immunity, depends upon the coordinated activities of cells and molecules of the immune system.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information