The Immune System

  • Benjamin B. Wolman


The immune system is a guardian apparatus that defends the living organism against foreign bodies and, especially, disease-causing microorganisms such as germs and viruses:
  • The principal cells of the immune system are lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages which are parts of the lymphoid tissue. The thymus, lymph nodes and spleen are examples of highly developed lymphoid tissues. The gastrointestinal tract, the tonsils, the Peyer’s patches and the appendix also have lymphoid tissue. …

  • There are two distinct types of lymphocytes. These two types were first demonstrated in chickens by removal of the thymus or by removal of the bursa of Fabricius (a lymphoid organ near the cloaca) during the neonatal period. Excision of the bursa resulted in low immunoglobulin levels and impaired antibody synthesis. Lymphoid nodules did not develop in lymph nodes and spleen. … The cell-mediated immunity remained intact as proven by delayed hypersensitivity and allograft rejection. Evidence for two types of immunocompetent cells in humans has largely come from the study of congenital and acquired defects of immunity as well as from the identification of populations of lymphocytes. The two types of immunocompetent lymphocytes are referred to as B cells and T cells. (Gilliland, 1980, p. 315)


Immune System Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Behavioral Medicine Infectious Mononucleosis Psychosomatic Disorder 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

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  • Benjamin B. Wolman

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