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Immune system



Phagocytosis occurring in a cell

Introduction (what it is)

It is much easier to understand the immune system when we understand the function of leukocytes (white blood cells) within our bodies, since they are our defense cells.

The action of the immune system

The action of the immune system begins very early, still in the intrauterine phase. At this stage, the fetal lymphocytes copy and store all the amino acid sequences (proteins) in your body.

It is interesting to know that a single lymphocyte does not know the whole body, but all together come to recognize all the proteins in our body. Thus, it is much easier to identify the presence of some unknown protein to combat it.

Fighting against the “foreign body” will start immediately after antibody production, at which stage the lymphocyte will be called plasma cell.

The antibody reaction against this foreign body is known as antigen-antibody, and its function is to attract as many macrophages as possible. These, in turn, will make phagocytosis, destroying not only the foreign body, but also the antibody that is attached to it.

After destroying foreign bodies, macrophages self-destruct (this process is called autolysis). Finally, only their residues will remain, which will be removed by the bloodstream. When this does not occur, the accumulation of dead macrophages will become pus.