Immunology Basic Terms

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some basic concepts before to start to study immunology

some basic concepts before to start to study immunology

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  • 1. Immunology Vocabulary
  • 2. Antigen
      • a molecule that stimulates an immune response
      • Any identifiable moiety = “anything”
      • 99% Proteins are antigens
  • 3. Epitope
    • It is the part of a macromolecule that is recognized by the immune system
  • 4. Hapten
      • Antigen that is too small to set off an immune response (<6000 D)
      • Viruses are a common hapten, when they are small!!!
        • They soon replicate and grow larger, thus setting off an immune response
  • 5. Antibody
    • antibody = immunoglobulin
    • antibody = glyco protein
    • The antibody recognizes a specific target, which is called an antigen .
  • 6. Cytokine
    • Cytokines are a group of proteins and peptides that are used in organisms as signaling compounds.
    • are used to allow one cell to communicate with another
  • 7. Interleukin
    • are a group of cytokines (secreted signaling molecules) that were first seen to be expressed by white blood cells ( leukocytes , hence the -leukin ) as a means of communication ( inter- ).
  • 8. Complement system
    • The complement system is a biochemical cascade of the immune system that helps clear pathogens from an organism, and promote healing.
  • 9. Complement system
    • 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
  • 10. Things that can INCREASE an immune response
    • Variability
    • Size
  • 11. Variability
    • Variability - is the #1 factor in eliciting an immune response
    • How different do you look?
      • Think about Genetic Drift and Genetic Shift or HIV
      • A virus or a toxin can contain an enzyme that is very different to your own!!!
  • 12. Size
    • Beware of large molecules without variability b/c smaller molecules with variability will still be more immunogenic!!!