What is the humoral immune response?
Humoral immunity or humoural immunity is the aspect of immunity that is mediated by macromolecules found in extracellular fluids such as secreted antibodies, complement proteins, and certain antimicrobial peptides. Its aspects involving antibodies are often called antibody-mediated immunity.
Depending on the kind of foreign invasion, two different immune responses occur: The humoral response (or antibody-mediated response) involves B cells that recognize antigens or pathogens that are circulating in the lymph or blood (“humor” is a medieval term for body fluid).
- Lymphocytes are white cells that are crucial to our immune systems. There are three main types known as T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. Lymphocytes are part of our immune defense and act to recognize antigens, produce antibodies, and destroy cells that could cause damage.
- The body's Humoral immune system is dominated by circulating Antibodies (proteins that bind to other proteins specifically). These Abs are produced primarily by B Cell lymphocytes. The body's cell mediated immunity involved T cells, macrophages, and other leukocytes.
- Helper T cells are arguably the most important cells in adaptive immunity, as they are required for almost all adaptive immune responses. They not only help activate B cells to secrete antibodies and macrophages to destroy ingested microbes, but they also help activate cytotoxic T cells to kill infected target cells.
The immune system is the third line of defense. It consists of mechanisms and agents that target specific antigens (Ags). An antigen is any molecule, usually a protein or polysaccharide, that can be identified as foreign (nonself) or self (such as MHC antigens described below).
- Innate, or nonspecific, immunity is the defense system with which you were born. It protects you against all antigens. Innate immunity involves barriers that keep harmful materials from entering your body. These barriers form the first line of defense in the immune response.
- The innate immune system, also known as the non-specific immune system or in-born immunity system, is an important subsystem of the overall immune system that comprises the cells and mechanisms involved in the defense of the host from infection by other organisms.
- Types of Acquired Immunity:
- Active Immunity: In this immunity person's own cells produce antibodies in response to infection or vaccination.
- Passive Immunity: When ready-made antibodies are directly injected into a person to protect the body against foreign agents, it is called passive immunity.
Updated: 12th November 2019