adaptive immunity

Last reviewed 11/2020

  • possess a high degree of specificity and evoke a more potent response on secondary exposure to the pathogen
  • adaptive immune system frequently incorporates cells and molecules of the innate system in its fight against harmful pathogens
    • for example, complement (molecules of the innate system) may be activated by antibodies (molecules of the adaptive system)
  • adaptive immune system comprises two main types of leucocyte known as B and T lymphocytes
  • the lymphoid organs are classified as
    • primary lymphoid organs
      • bone marrow
    • secondary lymphoid organs
      • lymph nodes
      • MALT - mucosa associated lymphoid tissue e.g. bronchus, gut, nasal tissues
      • spleen
  • T lymphocytes mature in the thymus
    • premature T cells undergo a process of positive and negative selection whereby the former are allowed to progress to maturity whilst the latter are marked for termination via apoptosis (programmed cell death)