CELLS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, 16
Mast Cells, Basophils, Eosinophils, 18 Antigen-Presenting Cells, 19 Lymphocytes, 20
ANATOMY AND FUNCTIONS OF LYMPHOID TISSUES, 26
Bone Marrow, 26 Thymus, 28
The Lymphatic System, 29 Lymph Nodes, 30 Spleen, 33
Regional Immune Systems, 34 SUMMARY, 34
The cells of the innate and adaptive immune system are normally present as circulating cells in the blood and lymph, as anatomically defined collections in lymphoid organs, and as scattered cells in virtually all tissues. The anatomic organization of these cells and their ability to circulate and exchange among blood, lymph, and tissues are of critical importance for the generation of immune responses. The immune system faces numerous challenges to generate effective protective responses against infectious pathogens. First, the system must be able to respond rapidly to small numbers of many different microbes that may be introduced at any site in the body. Second, in the adaptive immune response, very few naive lymphocytes specifically recognize and respond to any one antigen. Third, the effector mechanisms of the adaptive immune system (antibodies and effector T cells) may have to locate and destroy microbes at sites that are distant from the site where the immune response was induced. The ability of the immune system to meet these challenges and to perform its protective functions optimally is dependent on several properties of its cells and tissues. The major cells and tissues of the immune system and their important roles are the following:
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