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Getting to Know the Body's Immune System: Definition, Components, & How It Works

 The immune system is the body's defense system to protect against various bad microorganisms that cause infection or disease. This system consists of various components and the way they work is complex.”

Jakarta – The body's immune system plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health by carrying out a series of defense mechanisms, such as recognizing and responding to foreign objects.

The foreign objects in question are pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, germs, parasites and fungi. Some of these pathogens cause disturbances and damage to a person's body.

Want to know more about how the immune system works? Check out the following information!

Understanding the Body's Immune System

The immune system is the body's defense system against attacks by foreign substances. In fact, foreign substances not only come from outside the body, such as pathogens, but are also found inside the body.

Foreign substances originating from within the body are dead cells or cells that have changed their shape and function. These substances are known as immunogens or antigens.

Even though it is a defense system, its function does not always work well. Because, sometimes people with certain disorders need certain drugs that affect how the immune system works.

In autoimmune diseases and allergies, for example, the immune system mistakenly perceives healthy tissue as threatening. In the end, the immune system launches an unnecessary attack, causing skin rashes and other symptoms.

Immune System Components 

In the immune system, there are several main components which include:

White blood cell. Its function is to attack and eliminate dangerous pathogens and keep the body healthy.

Antibody. These proteins protect the body from pathogens by binding and destroying them.

Cytokines. This protein functions to ward off the side effects of inflammation by healing damage to tissue.

Complementary system. This is a group of proteins that work together with other cells in the body to defend against pathogens and speed healing of injuries or infections.

Lymph gland. This small, bean-shaped organ functions to filter waste products from fluids flowing from tissues and cells.

Spleen. This organ stores white blood cells that protect the body from pathogens. Its function is to filter blood and recycle old and damaged cells to make new cells.

Tonsils and adenoids. These two organs function to trap pathogens and prevent them from entering the body.

Thymus. This is a small organ that helps T cells (a certain type of white blood cell) mature more quickly before moving on to other organs in the body.

Bone marrow. This soft, fatty tissue in the bones is a blood cell factory . Blood cells produced, including red blood cells.

Skin. Skin is a protective barrier that helps prevent germs from entering the body. It does this by producing oil and releasing other protective immune system cells.

Mucosa. This three-layer membrane lines cavities and organs throughout the body. It secretes mucus that traps pathogens, which is then cleared by the body.


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