Prostaglandins – Definition and Function

Prostaglandins Definition A large family of fast-acting lipid mediators primarily responsible for initiating inflammation, fever, and pain during the immune responsE. Prostaglandins are also vital for numerous functions throughout the body. Thromboxane, one of the prostaglandins, facilitates platelet aggregation to aid coagulation (blood clotting). Other prostaglandins facilitate calcium transport to and from cells, the onset and progression of labor during childbirth, […]

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Antiphospholipid Antibodies and Antibody Syndrome

Antiphospholipid Antibodies Definition, Syndrome Autoantibodies the immune system produces that attack phospholipids, fatty substances in the cell membranes of blood cells and connective tissue cells. Antiphospholipid antibodies interfere with blood clotting (coagulation) and are present in a number of autoimmune disorders that affect connective tissue, such as rheumatoid arthritis (affecting the joints) and vasculitis (affecting the blood vessels). These antibodies are also present […]

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Inflammation in The Body, Causes and Treatment

Inflammation in the Body – Definition The release of fluid (plasma) from the blood vessels into the tissues, facilitating the movement of key immune proteins and other molecules to the site of injury or infection. Inflammation is the mechanism of the immune response for containing and mitigating whatever damage has occurred. Prostaglandins, which mast cells release, are the […]

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T-cell Lymphocytes – Definition and Function

T-cell Lymphocytes Definition and Function The type of white blood cell (leukocyte) responsible for cell-mediated immunity. T-cell lymphocytes come to maturity in the thymus during childhood, which is why they are called T-cells. During the maturation process, T-cell lymphocytes “learn” how to recognize self and nonself antigens so they can distinguish between cells that belong to the body […]

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B-cell lymphocyte – Definition

Definition of B-cell lymphocyte A type of white blood cell (leukocyte) responsible for antibody-mediated immunity (also called humoral immunity). B-cell lymphocytes are so named because they come to maturity in the bone marrow (in contrast to T-cell lymphocytes, which come to maturity in the thymus). B-cell lymphocytes produce antibodies in reaction to the presence of antigens. The bone […]

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Interferons Alpha/Beta and Cancer Treatment

Interferons Definition Cytokines (molecules on the surface of cell membranes that direct cell activity) that block the activity of viruses and mediate numerous aspects of the immune response. There are more than a dozen type 1 interferons, the most abundant of which are interferon-alpha and interferon-beta. B-cell lymphocytes and T-cell lymphocytes produce type 1 interferons, which primarily direct […]

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Transforming Growth Factors (TGF)

Transforming Growth Factors Definition Cytokines in the blood circulation that attach to the surfaces of cell membranes. Transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha) stimulates the cells to grow, divide, and differentiate (cell proliferation). Lymphocytes and macrophages produce TGF-alpha. TGF-beta stimulates interleukin 1 (IL-1) production and blocks the response of lymphocytes in the inflammatory process. Lymphocytes, macrophages, and […]

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BALT – bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue

Definition of BALT – bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) – Loosely organized clusters of lymph tissue beneath the epithelium (tissue that forms the mucous lining) of the bronchi (inner airways) in the lungs. These clusters of lymph tissue have preventive, protective, and cleanup responsibilities within the immune response. They contain macrophages and dendritic cells, which are phagocytic cells […]

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Interleukins – Definition and Function

Interleukins Definition and Types Cytokines that influence the growth, proliferation, and activity of leukocytes and other blood cells. Leukocytes produce interleukins. There are 12 major interleukins, identified as interleukin 1 (IL-1) through IL-12. Among those significant to leukocyte development are IL-3, which influences blood stem cell differentiation into the various types of blood cells; leukocyte differentiation […]

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Tumor Necrosis Factors (TNF)

Tumor Necrosis Factors TNF – cytokines that kill tumor cells and participate in the inflammatory response. Leukocytes (white blood cells) produce TNFs under stimulation from interleukins. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), also called cachexin or cachectin, is the most active in these processes. Recombinant TNF-alpha is a treatment option for certain types of cancer. The spice turmeric (active […]

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