Immune System briefly explained
The immune system is a network of cells and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders. These are primarily GERMS: tiny infectious disease causing organism such as bacteria and viruses as well as parasites, and fungi. Because the human body provides an ideal environment for many germs or microbes, they try to break in. Now, it is the immune system's job to keep them out or failing that, to seek them out and destroy them. However, if the immune system is crippled it can unleash a torrent of disease on the body (i.e. allergies, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and other immune dysfunction).
To understand the underline cause of MS one must first understand how the Immune System works. The immune system was design to defend our body's constitution. Therefore, this is a formidable system that protects us from bacteria and viruses. However, interestingly enough, in today's culture we are so use to underestimating the immune system ability to heal the body. This is because we have believed the lies of the pharmaceutical companies. These companies invest so much money into an advertisement to make us doubt the fact that our body can heal itself without their drugs; but it is interesting to know that at the high of an infection the body can make up to 80 million antibodies per second.
The mysterious MS disease can incapacitate its host, making it difficult or impossible to perform certain motorial action, but like every disease, the effect will vary to a high degree according to the immune response of each individual. Our immune system is comprised of three main things: the thymus gland, bone marrow, and the lymphoid tissues. They all have their own function, but together with the support of the auxiliary immune system (i.e. skin, tear gland, mouth and throat, respiratory track, stomach, small and large intestine) they provide somewhat of a natural defence for the body.
The organ of the immune system is positioned throughout the body; its components are: white blood cells such as lymphocytes, antibodies, monocytes and granulocytes, the spleen, tonsils and adenoids, thymus gland, lymph fluid, lymph vessels, nodes and ducts.
The immune system has a remarkable ability to distinguish between the body's own cells and a foreign cell. The body's immune system normally coexists peacefully with cell that carries distinctive self-marker molecules. However, when your immune cell encounter other cells or organism carrying markers that say foreign, they quickly swing into action to destroy the invader. Anything that can trigger this immune response is called an antigen; and an antigen can be a germ such as any disease-producing agent, like a bacterium or even a tiny piece of a dead pathogenic cell inoculated to stimulate the production of antibodies.
All white blood cell (WBC) or immune cells derive from the bone marrow, be it T-cells, B-cell or any of the numerous types of granulocyte that engulf pathogens or involve in both the non-specific and specific immune responses. A simple knock on the head or a burn on the hand or extremely cold weather or exposure to various forms of radiation, and pathogen can trigger a nonspecific response.
The thymus gland is the site of maturation of the chief immune cell; T lymphocytes (T-cells), which is formed from stem cells in the bone marrow and later migrate to the thymus to develop, hence the name T-cell. There are two types of specific response, and the T-cell is a type of WBC, which is responsible for cell-mediate immunity: an immune response chiefly against viral or fungal invasions or transplanted foreign tissue. In other words, when a monocyte or granulocyte engulfs an antigen, it alerts the T-cells by releasing a chemical signal call cytokine and when the T-cell reaches the site of infection the monocyte or granulocyte presents the antigen to the T-cell. Once the T-cells scan the antigen and verify that the self-marker molecules on it is foreign (non-self) it directs the body's specific defence system against that foreign invader be it a small microbe or a large parasite such as a worm.
At this point, the T-cells undergo a strategic change and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behaviour. Thus, they begin to proliferate in the infected area and organise themselves into sets and sub sets passing information back and forth like clouds of bees swarming around a hive. One set, known as the memory T-cells take a mental note of the type of antigen for future defence; and another set known as killer T-cells attack the organism or the infected cell head on, using cytotoxins. Proteins called lymphokines. The battle is not over. One more set known as helper T-cells signal the B-cells to activate the other specific response called antibody-mediate immunity, which attract macrophage cell to the site to engulf and digest debris and the invading microorganisms.
The antibody-mediate defence is carried out remotely by B lymphocyte (B-cell), which acts as the sniper of the immune system. B-cell is another type of WBC, which multiplies in the presence of an antigen and produces a class of proteins in the lymph tissue called gamma globulins, a plasma protein containing the immunoglobulins that function as antibodies in the immune response. Antibodies react specifically against the foreign protein it was made to neutralise.
Some B-cells also retain memory of whatever antigen they encountered for future defence. Both the T-cells and the B-cells possess the ability to recognise any pathogen, even if they never encountered them before by scanning their distinctive self-marker molecules. Once the invading microbe has been dealt with, it is the suppressor T-cell duty to prevent any further inflammation. Suppressor T-cell is one of the sub groups of T-cells. They have the ability to inhibit the inflammatory response of the other cells.
Lymphocytes are the key players of the immune system. They can travel throughout the body using either the blood vessels or the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of tissues, and vessels, which serves as a transport system for the lymph fluid and WBC to reach the blood stream. Like small creeks runs into larger and larger rivers, in like manner, the lymphatic vessels feed into larger and larger channels that merge at the base of the neck into two large ducts, which discharges its contents into the blood stream.