Adaptive Immune System

The adaptive immune system, also known as the specific immune system, is composed of highly specialized, systemic cells and processes that eliminate or prevent pathogenic growth. Thought to have arisen in the first jawed vertebrates, the adaptive or "specific" immune system is activated by the “non-specific” and evolutionarily older innate immune system (which is the major system of host defense against pathogens in nearly all other living things). The adaptive immune response provides the vertebrate immune system with the ability to recognize and remember specific pathogens (to generate immunity), and to mount stronger attacks each time the pathogen is encountered. It is adaptive immunity because the body's immune system prepares itself for future challenges.

The system is highly adaptable because of somatic hypermutation (a process of accelerated somatic mutations), and V(D)J recombination (an irreversible genetic recombination of antigen receptor gene segments). This mechanism allows a small number of genes to generate a vast number of different antigen receptors, which are then uniquely expressed on each individual lymphocyte. Because the gene rearrangement leads to an irreversible change in the DNA of each cell, all of the progeny (offspring) of that cell will then inherit genes encoding the same receptor specificity, including the Memory B cells and Memory T cells that are the keys to long-lived specific immunity. Immune network theory is a theory of how the adaptive immune system works, that is based on interactions between the variable regions of the receptors of T cells, B cells and of molecules made by T cells and B cells that have variable regions.

Read more about Adaptive Immune SystemFunctions, Effector Cells, Antigen Presentation, B Lymphocytes and Antibody Production, Alternative Adaptive Immune System, Immunological Memory, Immunological Diversity, Adaptive Immunity During Pregnancy

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Adaptive Immune System - Adaptive Immunity During Pregnancy
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Adaptive Immune System - Immunological Memory - Active Memory and Immunization
... immunization) is to introduce an antigen from a pathogen in order to stimulate the immune system and develop specific immunity against that particular pathogen without causing disease associated with that ... This deliberate induction of an immune response is successful because it exploits the natural specificity of the immune system, as well as its inducibility ... of death in the human population, vaccination represents the most effective manipulation of the immune system mankind has developed ...

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