Skip to main content

Immune response

    Immune response
   

The immune system includes specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes that adapt themselves to fight specific foreign invaders. These cells develop into two groups in the bone marrow.

From the bone marrow, one group of lymphocytes migrates to a gland called the thymus and become T lymphocytes or T cells. Within the thymus, the T cells mature under the influence of several hormones.

The T cells mature into several different types, including helper, killer and suppressor cells. T cells are responsible for cell-mediated immunity. This type of immunity becomes deficient in persons with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, because HIV attacks and destroys helper T cells.

The other group of lymphocytes, B lymphocytes or B cells, mature and develop within the bone marrow itself. In that process, they achieve the ability to recognize specific foreign invaders. From the bone marrow, B cells migrate through the body fluids to the lymph nodes, spleen and blood. B lymphocytes provide the body with humoral immunity as they circulate in the fluids in search of specific foreign invaders to destroy.

Review Date:3/20/2016
Reviewed By:Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

 
We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No