The cells of the innate immune system perform several functions that are essential for defense against microorganisms. Some cells form physical barriers that impede infections. Several cell types express the various pattern recognition receptors we have just discussed, and after recognizing PAMPs and DAMPs, they respond by producing inflammatory cytokines and antiviral proteins and by killing microbes or infected cells. In addition, some of the cells of innate immunity are critical for stimulating subsequent adaptive immune responses. We will now discuss the cell types that perform these functions.
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