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Many bacteria in our bodies help prevent pathogens from becoming established. “Good bacteria” helps protect us from “bad bacteria”. The large intestine is packed with normal microflora that digest substances otherwise indigestible. This process provides our bodies with additional vitamins, fatty acids and nutrients.

Allergic Responses/Inflammatory Responses

Some forms of arthritis and diabetes are autoimmune diseases. In other cases, the immune system responds to a seemingly harmless foreign substance such as a dust mite. The result is allergy, and this kind of antigen is called an allergen. Lymph Nodes are small oval shaped structures located along the lymphatic vessels.

To increase the temperature to the new level, our body shunts blood away from the skin (leaving it feeling cold and clammy), the heart rate increases, and we shiver to generate heat until we reach the new set point. The hypothalamus may subsequently lower the thermostat, in which case we suddenly feel hot and start to sweat as our body attempts to cool off. A person may cycle between chills and sweats during the course of an infection. While a fever can be dangerous if it gets too high, or if a patient is weak or has heart trouble, there is some evidence suggesting that the body may overcome an infection faster if a fever is allowed to run its course. Normally our immune system does not respond to our own antigens (if it does, then this is an autoimmune disease).

Macrophages are the primary scavengers within tissues. Macrophages also remove larger particles, such as old RBC and dead neutrophils. Macrophages play an important role in the development of acquired immunity. After they ingest and digest molecular or cellular antigens, fragments of processed antigen are inserted into the macrophage membrane as part of surface protein complexes. Lymph originates as blood plasma that leaks from the capillaries of the circulatory system, becoming interstitial fluid, filling the space between individual cells of tissue.

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The life span of a typical eosinophil in the blood is about 6-12 hours. Eosinophils are known to attach to large parasites and release substances from their granules that damage or kill the parasite. Because eosinophils kill pathogens, they are classified as cytotoxic cells. Eosinophils also participate in allergic reactions, by contributing to inflammation and tissue damage by releasing toxic enzymes.

Anything that can trigger the immune response is called an antigen. An antigen can be a microbe such as a virus, or even a part of a microbe. Tissues of cells from another person also carry nonself markers and act as antigens. This explains why tissue transplants can be rejected.

Sometimes we develop an immune response to a harmless antigen, such as pollen or cat dander (this is an allergic response). The complement system is a biochemical cascade of the immune system that helps clear pathogens from an organism, and promote healing. It is derived from many small plasma proteins that work together to form the primary end result of cytolysis by disrupting the target cell’s plasma membrane.

This is characterized by a red, swollen warm area that is tender or painful. In addition to the nonspecific inflammatory response, lymphocytes attracted to the area produce antibodies keyed to the specific type of bacteria. If the infection continues it will produce a fever.

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HIV is a retrovirus that primarily infects vital components of the human immune system such as CD4+ T cells (a subset of T cells), macrophages and dendritic cells. It directly and indirectly destroys CD4+ T cells.

When the immune system is presented with foreign antigens in association with dendritic cells, a vigorous immune response ensues. (Antigens are the molecules on the surface of invader cells that announce them as different from the body’s cells.). Alternatively, dendritic cells can be exploited during the development of many immune based diseases. Passive Immunity occurs when we acquire antibodies made by another human or animal. Passive immunity is passive because it requires no response from the person’s immune system.

Edema is the swelling that forms when too much tissue fluid forms or not enough taken away. It can be caused by a variety of conditions such as allergic responses (too much vasodilation), starvation (lack of albumin in blood lowers osmotic pressure and decreases amount of fluid returning to capillaries), and lymphatic disorders (e.g. blockage due to parasite in elephantiasis, or removal of lymph nodes due to a radical mastectomy). Edema is common in the lower extremities when people spend a lot of time sitting, because the fluid return is based largely on the massaging action of skeletal muscles. C) A protein generated by the immune system in response to a foreign substance. 9-A foreign substance, usually a protein, that stimulates the immune system to react, such as by producing antibodies is a ______________.

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