BY- SREELAKSHMI (MSIWM012)

Immunology is the branch of science dealing with the study of immunity. Louis Pasteur is considered as the Father of Immunology.

HISTORY OF IMMUNOLGY

 Immunology started from the observation of people who recovered from certain infectious diseases and who never got infected with the same.

  • The earliest written evidence on immunology is by Thucydides during 430 BC .He was describing about a plague in Athens where he mentioned that people who recovered from plague could only nurse the sick because they won’t get the disease again.
  • The first recorded attempt was by Chinese and turks in the 15 century. Dried crusts of from smallpox pustules was inhaled through nostrils or inserted into cuts in the skin. They used in this technique called variolation  to prevent the deadly and fatal smallpox.
  • Variolation technique was later improved by Edward Jenner in 1718.
  • Next major advancement was that success of Louis Pasteur in growing bacterium responsible for fowl cholera in chicken. After completing, he concluded that ageing weekend the virulence of pathogen. He called the attenuated strain as vaccine .he named it so in honor of Jenner’s technique of cowpox inoculation.
  • Next decade various researchers demonstrated that an active component from the serum of immune animals are capable neutralizing toxins, precipitating toxins and occlude rich bacteria. They were termed as angio toxin precipitating and agglutinating respectively. Gamma –globulin present in serum is responsible for this activities. This active molecule is called as antibody.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF IMMUNE RESPONSE

  1. Inherent Immunity

It’s a first line of defense mechanism and non-specific. Inherent immunity include physical barriers (e.g., skin, saliva etc.)and cells (e.g. Macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, mast cells etc.).It is active for first few days during infection period.

  • Adaptive Immunity

It is the second line of defense. It responds to anything that is foreign and also remembers it.It involves antibodies and lymphocytes. Active and passive immunity comes under Acquired immunity

ANTIGEN

It can be any substance that can be recognized by immunoglobulin receptor of B-cells or by the T-cell receptor when complexes with MHC. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, foreign blood and the cells of transplanted organs.

   TYPES OF ANTIGENS

  • Exogenous Antigen: Antigens that have entered the body from outside either by inhalation, ingestion or injection .Immune response to these antigens is often sub-clinical. Some Exogenous Antigen later become endogenous Antigens.
  • Endogenous Antigens: They are generated within an individual normal cells as a result of cell metabolism. Endogenous antigens include xenogenic, autologous and idiotypic antigens.
  • Tumour Antigens: They are present on the surface of tumor cells. They can sometimes be presented only by tumour cells and never by the normal ones due to some tumour specific mutations, such antigens are called Tumour specific Antigens (TSAs).Commonly these antigens are presented by both tumour cells and normal cells, and they are called Tumour Associated Antigens.

       ANTIBODIES (IMMUNOGLOBULINS)

         

They are group of glycoproteins which are present in the serum and tissue fluids of all mammals. They are produced by the immunocompetent B-cells called as plasma cells .Some of these antigen-binding proteins are carried on the surface of B-cells, where they act as receptors for specific antigens and thus, confers antigenic specificity on B-cells.

Structure of Antibodies: It is Y-shaped in appearance whose arms can swing at an angle of 180 degree. It consist of two identical light chains and heavy chains which are linked by disulphide bonds and non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonds, salt bridges and hydrophobic bonds in the form of heterodimer.

TYPES OF ANTIBODIES

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG): It is a major immunoglobulin present in serum. It is the major Ig produced during the secondary response. It is the only Ig which can cross placenta. It also helps in the activation of classical compliment pathway.
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgM): It accounts for approximately 5%-10% of the total serum immunoglobulin with an average serum concentration of 1.5 mg/mL is the first immunoglobulin to be synthesized by the newborn. It is confined to the intravascular pool only. IgM are capable of agglutinating the antigen as well as it can neutralize the viral particles.IgM is also more efficient activator of the classical complement pathway.
  • Immunoglobulin a (IgA): It constitutes only 10%-15% of the total immunoglobulin in serum. It served as a first line of defense against the microbial invasion at the mucosal surfaces. Secretory IgA present in breast milk protect the newborn against infection during the first month of life.
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE): It’s present in extremely low in serum. It mediate the immediate hypersensitivity reactions or allergic reactions. On the exposure of allergen, IgE will be produced which binds to Fc receptors present on the membranes of blood basophils and tissue mast cells. It also plays a major role in parasitic infections
  • Immunoglobulin D (IgD): It constitutes only 0.2% of the total immunoglobulin in serum. It is expressed by mature B-cells on its surface together with IgM.

SCOPE OF IMMUNOLOGY

Immunology is a diverse and growing discipline. It plays an important role in the development vaccines. Immunology is associated with the treatment of allergy and asthma. It plays a major role in the disciplines of medicine especially for organ transplantation, oncology, virology, bacteriology. Immunoinformatics is special stream which link immunology and bioinformatics.Majorily for vaccine design.

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