Skip Navigation

Immune System

Skip Content Marketing
  • Share this:
  • submit to facebook
  • Tweet it
  • submit to reddit
  • submit to StumbleUpon
  • submit to Google +

Mounting an Immune Response

Immune System Responses

When challenged by a virus or other microbe, the immune system has many weapons to choose, including lymphokines, T cells, antibodies, B cells, killer cells, complements, and macrophages.
When challenged by a virus or other microbe, the immune system has many weapons to choose. View credit information.

B Cell Response

Antibodies are triggered when a B cell encounters its matching antigen; the B cell takes in the antigen and digests it; then it displays antigen fragments bound to its own distinctive MHC molecules. The combination of antigen fragment and MHC molecule attracts the help of a mature, matching T cell. Lymphokines secreted by the T cell allow the B cell to multiply and mature into antibody-producing plasma cells. Released into the bloodstream, antibodies lock onto matching antigens. These antigen-antibody complexes are soon eliminated, either by the complement cascade or by the liver and the spleen.
B cells are triggered to mature into plasma cells that produce a specific kind of antibody when the B cell encounters a specific antigen. View credit information.

T Cell Response

T cells are mobilized when they encounter a cell such as a macrophage or a B cell that has digested an antigen and is displaying antigen fragments bound to its MHC molecules. Lymphokines help the T cell to mature. The T cell, alerted and activated, secretes lymphokines. Some lymphokines attract immune cells—fresh macrophages, granulocytes, and other lymphocytes—to the site of infection. Yet other lymphokines direct the recruits once they arrive on the scene. Some lymphokines spur the growth of more T cells. Some T cells become killer cells and track down body cells infected by viruses.
T cells become active through a series of steps and then activate other immune cells by secreting lymphokines. View credit information.

back to top

Last Updated October 02, 2008