How to Increase Immune system by home Remedies

how to improve immune system against allergies and how does immune system protect the body from disease and how does the immune system eliminate viruses
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Published Date:01-08-2017
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Your Amazing Immune System · Compiled by the Japanese Society for Immunology (JSI) · Illustrated by Tomoko Ishikawa Your Amazing Compiled by the Japanese Society for Immunology (JSI) Illustrated by Tomoko Ishikawa The English translation by Anjali Patel and publication Immune System was made possible thanks to the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS). How it Protects Your Body ISBN 978-3-00-028073-3 www.wiley-vch.de1 009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:55 Uhr Seite 10 The Basics of the Immune System . What does the immune system do? Do you know what the immune sys- tem is? Do you know where you can find it in the body? And do you know what it does? When you are feeling well, you don’t give much thought to your immune system or what it does. But what do you think would happen to you if you didn’t have one? Well let’s see. Roughly one in every hundred thou- sand babies is born without any immunity whatso- ever. This condition is known by the rather long and difficult term of Severe Combined Immunodeficien- Severe Combined cy or SCID. Babies born with this condition don’t Immunodeficiency have any of the protection that healthy babies do against pathogens. By pathogens we mean germs like the bacteria, viruses and fungi that can make you sick. This is 100,000 why babies who have SCID end up getting very sick from infectious diseases. 10009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:55 Uhr Seite 11 You’ve no doubt heard about a disease called AIDS. AIDS causes the body to lose its immunity and leaves it unable to protect itself from all sorts of germs. AIDS does this by knocking out the immune sys- tem’s ability to function. There are all sorts of germs floating about in the air. By now you probably realise that if you were born with- out any immunity whatsoever or if your immune system stopped functioning, you’d be at the mercy of germs that your body could normally protect you from. So you see, it might feel like your immune system doesn’t do very much, but, in fact, it is there protecting your body night and day. 11009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:55 Uhr Seite 12 Ever wondered why you don’t get the same disease twice? When germs get into your body, you have what is called an infection. Usu- ally, when you get an infection, you’ll get a fever and an upset stomach (di- arrhoea). However, after you rest for awhile, in most cases, you should get better again. You have your immune system to thank for this recovery. But this isn’t all that your immune system does for you. infection virus I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like, “Well, I got the mumps once so I should be okay”, or “I’ve already had the flu this year so I won’t catch it again”. What people mean when they say this is that if a particular pathogen makes you ill once and you recov- er, then you won’t fall ill with it again. This ability is another important function of your immune system. Your immune system remembers all the pathogens that have infected you so that if you were to catch one of these again, you won’t fall ill. 12009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:55 Uhr Seite 13 Immunological Memory Experts call this ability immunological memory. Although immunological memory protects you from getting sick with the same type of pathogen again, it can’t help if you are infected by a new pathogen. With each new infection, the immune sys- tem has to start from scratch to memorise the pathogen that caused it. Every day each one of us comes across thousands of germs. By the time we become adults, our im- mune system has had the chance to memorise an amazing number of them. The vaccinations that you get as a child add to the number of germs that your body can recognise. They contain pathogens that have been weakened so that you can build immuni- ty to them without having to get sick. The word vaccine comes from the Latin for cow or Vacca. But what have vaccines to do with cows, you ask? Well, Edward Jen- ner discovered vaccination when he showed that injecting people with the cowpox virus would protect them from a dead- ly disease called smallpox. 13009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:55 Uhr Seite 14 Where in the body is the immune system? Our bodies are made up of extremely small units called cells, each so small that it can’t be seen with the naked eye. Throughout the body there are an amazing variety of cells, each kind performing its own separate function. The immune sys- tem too is made up of specialised cells. These cells are called immune cells. Our blood is red because it contains a great many red blood cells called erythrocytes (eri-throw-sites). However, it also contains white blood cells or leukocytes (loo-co-sites). And it is these white blood cells that work as part of the immune system. Because blood circulates throughout our entire body, white blood cells are present everywhere too. So, to answer the question, you can find the immune system anywhere and everywhere in your body. However, there are places in the body where white blood cells are particularly concentrated. These places are the lymph nodes and the spleen, and they are important because they are the sites from which the immune system launches when you have an infection. We will tell you more about what the spleen and the lymph nodes do later. 14009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 15 gulp Hi spleen White blood cell = immune cell We said white blood cells can be found any- where in the body and this includes those parts of it that come in contact with the outside world through food or air – that is, the mouth, nose, lungs and the gut. Many white blood cells are also found in the skin, where they can destroy any germs that enter the body right on the spot. 15009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 16 The many cells of the immune system So now let’s look at some of the different cells that make up the immune system (remember these are white blood cells). neutrophil If you get hurt and your skin breaks open, germs can get into your body through the cut. When this happens, neutrophils, a group of white blood cells that are always present in the blood, migrate to the site to destroy the germs. macrophage Another type of white blood cell is the macrophage, which destroys pathogens directly by eating them. You’ll find macro- phages in the lungs, liver, skin and gut. Immune cells are so small you need a microscope to see them. 16009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 17 Lymphocytes are another type of white blood cell, and they are the smallest th members of the family. They can measure less than a 100 of a millimetre or 10 microns. If you were to look at them under a microscope, they would all look the same. But if you were to investigate a little further, you’d find that there are dif- ferent types, each with its own specialised function. B cell One type of lymphocyte you’d discover is the B lympho- cyte or B cell. B cells produce special weapons called anti- bodies which stick to a pathogen and help the immune sys- tem to destroy it. Other lymphocytes are known as helper T cells and killer T cells. Helper T cells help B cells to produce antibodies and also boost the abili- ty of macrophages to attack pathogens. Killer T cells, as their name suggests, are hit men of the white blood cell family. They bump off any cells that have been infected by a virus. helper T cell killer T cell One more important type of white blood cell is the den- dritic cell. This cell gets its name from all the arms it has that reach out of it like the branches of a tree (Dendron is Greek for “tree”). When germs enter the body, it is the den- dritic cells that help helper T cells understand what kind of pathogen it is, and how best to destroy it. So far we have learnt that different types white blood cells are concentrated in different areas of the body (spleen and lymph nodes). And we also know that while they have distinct roles, they all dendritic cell work together to protect the body. In humans, the B in B cell stands for bone marrow, where the cells are produced. It also stands for the bursa of Fabricius, where the cells are made in birds. The T in T cells stands for thymus, the organ where these cells develop. 17009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 18 Three ways of destroying a pathogen Now let’s find out a little more about how white blood cells rid the body of pathogens. neutrophil bacterium 1 Swallowing them whole Neutrophils and macrophages swallow pathogens, in particular bac- teria, whole. They also kill the bacteria they swallowed by breaking them macrophage down into pieces. Wow killer T cell Go for it Killing infected cells 2 Cells that have been infected by kills a virus are a danger to the body virus and have to be removed quickly. This is where killer T cells come Bye-bye into play. Killer T cells stop virus that is rapidly multiplying in the dies cells from spreading by finding virus-infected cell the infected cells and killing them. 18009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 19 virus with antibody attached to it B cell B cell antibody bacterium Ow… bacterial toxins 3 Antibody smothering Once inside the body, bacteria not only multiply, but also bacterium with produce chemicals that are harmful to the body called bacte- antibodies stuck to it rial toxins. To stop bacterial toxins from being able to func- tion, B cells smother them with weapons called antibodies. Antibodies can also attach themselves to viruses to prevent them from penetrating cells. And viruses that can’t enter cells, can’t multiply. Antibodies have another important job. They attach them- selves to bacteria to flag them as a meal for macrophages. We know that macrophages swallow bacteria anyway, but they macrophage can do this job much better when the bacteria are covered in antibodies. Antibodies travel around the whole body via the blood. That means that whatever part of the body is infected, antibodies can move to it quickly to confront the pathogen. Hey, how about this? 192 009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 20 How the Immune System Works . How the immune system distinguishes among pathogens The immune system can identify what pathogen has infected your body and decide on the best means to deal with it. Earlier, we learned that because of immune memory, people who’d had mumps once couldn’t get sick with it again. But this would not stop them from get- ting sick from something else, like measles. The cells of the immune system can tell the difference between mumps virus and measles virus because the cells memorise them as two entirely different things. The immune system’s ability to do this is known by the rather diffi- cult term of antigen specificity. So how exactly does the immune system tell pathogens apart? The job of distinguishing among different pathogens belongs to the lymphocytes. Both T and B cells have special tools for telling pathogens apart that cover the entire surface of opening the cell. These tools are called antigen receptors and they look like tiny rods with small holes at the end. Some of the holes are shaped to fit the measles antigen virus exactly, while others are shaped to match receptor the mumps virus or some other pathogen only. The immune system will know if a pathogen has B cell entered the body before, and be able to identify it, based on whether any of its cells possess anti- gen receptors that match. 20009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 21 s pathogen Just right Wrong It’s a shape.. match Antigen receptor click It’s no perfect good… How about this one? A perfect match 21009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 22 Both T cells and B cells have antigen receptors that recognise different pathogens, but their shapes and functions are a little different. B cell antigen receptors looks like the letter Y and have a hole at the end of each arm. T cells receptors, however, look like rods and have just one hole at the end. Earlier we told you that B cells get rid of pathogens by pro- ducing antibodies that smother them. Actually, these antibodies look exactly like antigen receptors that have been cut off a cell at the base of the stem. And they have exactly the same shaped openings as B cell receptors. When you catch mumps, only B cells that have antigen re- ceptors for the mumps virus will produce antibod- ies, as only these antibodies can attach to the virus. It wouldn’t make any sense for B cells to pro- duce antibodies that could attach to, say, the measles virus in this case. So you see, in this way the immune system is very clever. B cell 22009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 23 Unlike antibodies, T cell antigen receptors can’t attach themselves to pathogens without help. Here, the dendritic cells that we told you about earlier play an important role. Dendritic cells clear the body of pathogens, and they do this in two ways. They swallow pathogens di- rectly or they swallow cells that have been infected by them. Having feasted on them in this way, dendritic cells carefully push out pieces of the pathogen for display on platforms that cover the surface of the dendritic cell. Presented in this way, the pieces of pathogen act as signs for T cells saying, “Hey, look We’ve been infected with this germ.” helper T cell This act of signalling what germ caused an infec- tion is known as antigen presentation. And because pieces of each virus, like those for the mumps and measles, are different in shape, a T cell can tell exactly which virus has infected the body. Once dendritic cells have presented an antigen, T cells can identify it and go ahead and do their work. They alert the other cells of the immune system telling them what pathogen they have to deal with. The immune system can now begin to attack germs that are living and multiplying inside the body’s cells. dendritic cell The platform described here is called the Major Histocompatibility Complex, or MHC. It got its name because it determines how well a tissue or organ transplant is accepted by the body. Histo is the Latin word for tissue and compatible means to match. Improving our understanding of how the MHC works is vital to making progress with transplant medicine or stem cell treatments for degenerative diseases. 23009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 24 How the immune system can recognise different germs We’ve learned that each lymphocyte has only one type of antigen receptor. So when you catch the mumps, only lymphocytes with antigen receptors for the mumps virus will detect it. Cells that detect other pathogens will ignore it. But all around us are millions upon millions of different germs. Clearly then, the body needs to have an enormous number of different lymphocytes to protect it. Luckily, it does. If you were to look up how many antigen receptors humans have, you would find that there are over 10 BILLION different kinds That is 10,000,000,000. With so many dif- ferent receptors, there is bound to be one lymphocyte in the body that can recognise whatever pathogen enters it. And with all of these lymphocytes working together, the immune system can protect the body from a huge variety of pathogens. Genes So how does your body make so many different kinds of antigen receptors? dad mum Our parents pass between 30,000 and 40,000 genes on to us, and all of these genes together are known as our genome. Within our genome there are genes for making the different parts of our body like muscles, skin, bones and organs. They are also genes for making antigen receptors. Your genome is all over your body. 24 me009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 25 Usually we say that one gene makes one part of the body, but this is not the case with antigen receptors. The genes that make them up are all separated into segments like the pieces of a puzzle. And it’s only inside lymphocytes that these pieces of genes can be combined in differ- ent ways to produce any number of blueprints for antigen receptors. From the hundreds of puzzle pieces available, a lym- phocyte selects two or three to combine. A lymphocyte pu can put these pieces together in many different ways, and because there tends to be inaccuracies when the pieces are linked, an extraordinary number of different antigen receptors can be produced. zz le 25009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 26 How the immune system remembers virus pathogens it’s met before Hello ... B cell st Lymphocytes can remember pathogens 1 time that they’ve met before. The first time a B cell meets a pathogen, it takes over a week for the cell to produce an- tibodies against it. During this time the B nd cell changes itself into a cell that can pro- 2 time duce vast amounts of antibody. However, not all B cells become antibody-producing cells. Some B cells have the job of remem- memory B cell bering the new pathogen. These B cells are known as memory B cells. When a memory B cell again meets the pathogen that it has the job of remembering, it sets to work immediately and produces an enormous amount of antibodies in just a few days. But memory cells aren’t just quicker at making antibod- ies. They also make better quality antibodies than B cells that have encountered a pathogen for the first time. These ‘super-antibodies’ can attach themselves to bacterial toxins more firmly, and they’re also better at flagging bacteria for macrophages to find and eat. 26009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 27 Go for it normal antibody I guess it’ll take another week ... T cells also make memory cells. Helper T cells and killer T cells nor- mally just travel around the body pa- trolling it. When they do come across superantibody a pathogen, the T cells with antigen receptors that match the antigen be- gin to divide rapidly and get ready for work. It takes about a week for all of this to happen. During that time, some of the helper T cells change That’s into memory T cells. And if they meet Just a couple of quick the same pathogen again, they are days now. primed to go to work immediately. In this way people who have recovered from the mumps have a large number of memory T and B cells that can recognise just that virus. Similarly, people who’ve recovered from any other infection will have large numbers of just those memory T and B cells that can identify the specific pathogens involved. 27009_039q6.qxd 07.07.2009 11:56 Uhr Seite 28 bone bone marrow My … ne thymus helper T cell killer T cell 28

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