Describe the interrelationship between cell mediated and humoral immunity?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Viruses are incabable of replicating on their own, and so they must invade cells of our body and hijack the cell's machinery to replicate. This means that the majority of virus present in our body during an infection is usually contained within our own cells. Cell mediated immunity is the type of response that can allow cells of our immune system (T cells) to recognize which cells in our bodies are virally infected. The T cells seek out these cells, and destroy them, thereby killing the virus contained within them. Once all of the infected cells are wiped out, there is no more virus left in our bodies. By generating a response to the virus, our T cells end up with what is called memory. Next time we are infected by the same virus, certain T cells remember seeing it before and can respond quicker and more explosively. This is the basis behind vaccination for certain diseases. One thing to note is that some viruses place their genetic material into the genetic material of the cell and hide out. T cells may not recognize that this cell is infected, and may pass over it when seeking out infected cells. At a later time point, using the genetic material which the virus deposited in the cell at an earlier time, the cell may begin producing new virus. Now the cell should be recognized by T cells, and destroyed.

    Now lets talk about the humoral immune response. This refers to a response by certain cells of the immune system (B cells) which have the ability to make what are called antibodies. Antibodies are proteins which float around in the blood and have a particular ability to bind to a foreign protein. Depending on the features of this foreign protein, antibody binding to it will have numerous possible effects. One example would be antibodies which can recognize proteins on the surface of invading bacteria. If antibody coats the surface of the bacteria, the cell will more easily recognize that the bacteria is foreign, and try to destroy it. Another example is antibody which can recognize a certain toxin produced by bacteria and neutralize its toxic action. An example of this is antibody against tetanus toxin. If we get infected with the bacteria which causes tetanus, we can usually handle the bacteria infection and rid the body of the pathogen. The problem is that the bacteria can quickly make a potent toxin which can make us very sick. We need antibodies to bind the toxin and prevent it from acting. This is why we get vaccinated against tetanus. The vaccine is actually an inactive form of the toxin. By putting this foreign protein in the body, our B cell recognize it as foreign and produce antibody against it. This antibody floats around our bodies for years, until the day we get infected by the tetanus bacteria. As soon as the bacteria makes the toxin, the antibodies bind it, and prevent any terrible consequences. This is an example of a humoral immune response

    Source(s): Cell and Molecular Biochemist
  • 4 years ago

    Simply put, humoral involves antibodies while cell-mediated does not. Edit: A little more specifically, humoral uses antibodies and does not involve cells to directly attack antigen. Cell-mediated, on the other hand, can be activated by antibodies but will send cells to directly attack antigen.

  • 1 decade ago

    mircobiology at sf?

    Source(s): study guide
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