Friday, May 14, 2010

The Immune System

macrophage: a kind of white blood cells that consumes foreign invaders in the body. Help destroy bacteria and tumor cells. It also helps other cells in the immune system take action

antigen: any foreign substance that enters the body

T helper cell: white blood cell that recognizes the presence of antigens and releases cytokines that activate B and killer T cells.

B cell; lymphocyte that turns into plasma in the pressence of some antigens and releases antibodies to help fight off foreign invaders.

antibodies: protein that binds to an antigen, thus neutralizing it.

killer cells: destroy antigens that have been discovered by antibodies.

Cytotoxic T cell: type of T cell that kills cells that have been infected with viruses and other pathogens

memory cells: immune cells with long lifespans that remember attacks by certain antigens. When antigens return they can trigger a speedy immune response often before symptoms are felt.

Asthma: sensitive lungs have an allergic response to pollen and dander and the like and breathing tubes in the lungs become significantly narrower, thus restricting airflow.

eczema: also called atopic dermatitis is an uncomfortable, often reddish rash that often occurs in people with asthma.

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