The immune system can be broken down into two distinct divisions, the innate or non-specific immune system and the specific or adaptive immune system. The innate immune system functions to control infections in a non-specific manner; the surface of the skin and mucous membranes act as physical barriers to prevent the entry of pathogens. In addition to these physical barriers, the body uses non-specific cellular defenses to clear infections once pathogens have entered the body. Phagocytes are able to detect surface markers expressed by bacteria in order to engulf and destroy them, while Natural Killer (NK) cells recognize virus-infected cells and destroy them by inducing cell lysis. Anti-microbial proteins prevent the spread of infection as well. Viral infected cells produce interferon which stimulates surrounding cells to produce anti-viral proteins. The complement cascade can either work with the adaptive or innate immune system. Following induction of the innate immune system, the body's adaptive immune system is activated by the either free antigens or by the presentation of phagocytozed antigens by antigen presenting cells (APCs). The APCs activate both the cellular and the humoral branches of the adaptive immune system by activating T cells and B cells, respectively.
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All Immunology Antibodies, Lysates, Proteins and RNAi
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