The Human Immune System

Jo FrowdeHello, I am Jo Frowde, ISN Guide to the Human Immune System. The human immune system is the body's defence against disease from invading pathogens. See Disclaimer.

Acquired Immune
Brain and Immune
Innate Immune
Interstitial Immune
Psychological Immune


WinterThe human immune system is a defence mechanism that protects the body against disease. It consists of many biological structures and processes within an organism and its function is to detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens and distinguish them from healthy tissue. Autoimmune diseases may be caused by a disruption by any aspect of the immune system and autoimmunity results from a hyperactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms. (Also see Autoimmunity and Autoimmune Diseases)

Why snacking could be disrupting your immune system. We're eating more frequently than ever before – and it could be damaging our health in unexpected ways. Independent, 12/18/2018.

How Can We Unleash the Immune System? Although immunotherapy can work wonders for cancer, it does not help everyone, side effects can be fierce, and costs are high. New York Times, 11/19/2018.

How the immune system works. Our immune system is essential for our survival as without it, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. Medical News Today, 01/11/2018.

The twilight of immunity: emerging concepts in aging of the immune system. Immunosenescence is a series of age–related changes that affect the immune system and, with time, lead to increased vulnerability to infectious diseases. PubMed, Nat Immunol, 2018 Jan;19(1):10-19.

Acquired (Adaptive) Immune System

The acquired immune system is specific to a particular pathogen by producing antibodies and can also provide long–lasting protection against illness and disease. The cells that carry out the adaptive immune response are white blood cells known as lymphocytes (B cells and T cells). (Also see B Cells and T Cells)

What is Acquired Immunity? Acquired Immunity is the immunity that our body learns how to target and destroy specific pathogens only when these pathogens invade our body. Interactive Biology.

Adaptive immunity The adaptive immune system, also called acquired immunity, uses specific antigens to strategically mount an immune response. KhanAcademy.

Brain and Immune System

Emerging Role of Immunity in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease (CSVD). This review describes the neurovascular unit features of CSVD, the immune responses to specific neuronal and glial processes that may be involved in a distinct mechanism of CSVD, and the current evidence of the association between mechanisms of inflammation and interventions in CSVD. PubMed, Front Immunol, 2018 Jan 25;9:67.

Important Link between the Brain and Immune System Found. A previously unknown line of communication between our brains and immune systems has been found, adding to a fast–growing body of research suggesting that the brain and body are more connected than previously thought. Scientific American.

Missing link between brain and immune system found. A team of researchers has discovered the “missing” link between the brain and the immune system that may better treat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis in the near future. NHS Choices. (Also see Multiple Sclerosis)

Endocannabinoid System

ECS KaleidoscopeEndocannabinoid System The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the name for a series of endogenous cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists, known as Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1), which are abundant in the central nervous system and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2), which are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system. ISN.

Cannabidiol (CBD)
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
Autoimmune Diseases

Innate Immune System

Innate immunity is the body's natural immunity which is present at birth. Unlike acquired immunity, it doesn't need to be exposed to pathogens in order to produce antibodies.

Neutrophils and redox stress in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. This review describes the range of reactive oxygen species species produced by human neutrophils with a focus on the implications of neutrophil redox products in autoimmune inflammation. PubMed, Free Radic Biol Med, 03/29/2018.

Tissue–specific regulation of innate immune responses by human cathelicidin LL-37. This review summarizes the expression and biological functions of LL-37 and discusses its significant roles in the innate immune system based on its anatomical distribution. PubMed, Curr Pharm Des, 03/26/2018.

Interstitial Immune System

A previously unappreciated interstitial space, long believed to be dense, connective tissues are actually interconnected, fluid–filled compartments.

Meet Your Interstitium, A Newfound 'Organ'. Scientists discovered the new organ, which consists of fluid–filled spaces, in the body's connective tissue, including in the skin's dermis. Live Science, 03/27/2018.

The interstitium conducts extrarenal storage of sodium and represents a third compartment essential for extracellular volume and blood pressure homeostasis. Aspects of the interstitium in relation to Na+ balance and hypertension are the focus of this review. PubMed, Acta Physiol (Oxf), 2018 Mar;222(3).

Neuroimmune System

Neuroimmune system The neuroimmune system is a system of structures and processes involving the biochemical and electrophysiological interactions between the nervous system and immune system which protect neurons from pathogens. Wikipedia, 02/11/2018.

Neuroimmune Tau Mechanisms: Their Role in the Progression of Neuronal Degeneration. Despite clinical and pathological differences, increasing experimental evidence indicates an overlap between tauopathies and synucleinopathies. PubMed, Int J Mol Sci, 2018 Mar 23;19(4).

Inflammation in central nervous system (CNS) Neurodegenerative Diseases. The known interactions between the peripheral immune system and the brain, and the current concepts on how immune cells enter and leave the CNS are discussed. PubMed, Immunology, 03/07/2018.

Vascular, glial and lymphatic immune gateways of the central nervous system (CNS). Immune reactions occur within the CNS and it is clear that the CNS has a unique relationship with the immune system. PubMed, Acta Neuropathol, 2016 Sep;132(3):317-38.

Psychological Immune System

Your psychological immune system. Understanding our psychological immune system allows us to live with a deeper reassurance knowing that our mind heals just as a flesh wound does. Higher Thoughts, 07/24/2016.

Acute psychological stress induces short–term variable immune response. These results offer a spring-board for future research towards improved treatment of stress-related disease including the impact of stress on cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders. PubMed, Brain Behav Immun, 2016 Mar;53:172-182. (Also see Stress)

5 Keys to Developing a Strong Psychological Immune System. Your psychological immune system deploys a series of defense mechanisms and strategies as if it were were immune cells to better manage stress, anxiety, fears, worries, and so on. Step to Health.

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