Immune System Series: Know The Players

immune system

The Immune System might go as something that’s often overlooked and taken for granted by the most of us. However, our body works in a very intelligent and elaborate methods. In keeping ourselves healthy, the body’s immune system works as a team, made up of highly integrated components. The Immune System protects the body from infections and diseases. The components are made up of the tissues and organs that produces, stores, and carries White Blood Cells that fight infections and other diseases. The Immune System also includes the bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels. All which will be explained in easily understandable terms below.

Imagine that our body is a city. And so the story begins…

Immune System Infrastructures

immune-system-in-the-bodyThere are two main systems at work here, the main and apparent system is the Blood Stream, and the cool one that is hidden from plain sight is the Lymphatic System.

  • Lymphatic System: The lymphatic system is basically where the action goes down, where the heroes move from place to place quickly and undetected. This is also where the clean up crew operates, hiding evidences, and making it seem like nothing happened after an incident.
  • Blood Stream: This is the roads and highways, that are normally used in day to day basis. Evidently, the components include Red Blood Cells – RBCs which transports oxygens, nutrients, etc (aka The Grocery Trucks), White Blood Cells – WBCs (aka the police officers and undercover heroes), and Thrombocytes (the construction workers that fixes up potholes on the street and broken buildings).

Lymphatic System

The components of the Lymphatic System includes:

  • Lymph (The Vehicle) is a clear fluid that carries the cells that help fight infections and other diseases. So, our heroes do not travel with bat mobiles, or a flying surfboard, but with fluids.
  • Lymph nodes (Sentinels) are sort of the small police stations with temporary lock-ups. Lymph nodes filter the lymph fluid, and they also store White Blood Cells. They are located along the Lymphatic Vessels.
  • Lymph vessels (Underground Tunnels) are thin tubes that functions as underground tunnels where the heroes fight the villains, and their bodily remains are transported to be locked up and destroyed.
  • The Thymus (Training Ground) is an organ in the chest behind the breastbone. This is where the body breeds and trains the T Lymphocytes.
  • The Spleen (Prison & Graveyard) is an organ on the left side of the abdomen, near the stomach. The spleen produces some WBCs, filters the blood, stores blood cells (rationing), and also functions as the graveyard for the blood cells.
  • The Tonsils (The Net) are a pair of small organs in your mouth that traps germs (viruses, bacterias, etc) that you breathe in. There are basic defence system in place here too.
  • The Bone Marrow (Factory) is basically a really huge breeding ground and enhancement labs which produces a lot of different cells that circulates in our body, including the super heroes.
  • The White Blood Cells: there are different types of WBCs. Unlike the regular Joes, the WBCs are the super heroes. They are strong, trained to protect and to serve, and they have nifty gadgets to help them save the day. Read more about your Super Heroes here.
  • Antibodies are the nifty gadgets that are created by a certain WBC known as the B Lymphocyte. Each antibody produced are specific towards each type of antigen, with a narrow range of blast that may hurt other antigen of similar types (but not so much).

immune system

The Main Villains

Antigen is a nick name for “foreign substances”. Keep in mind that an antigen can be anything from a living micro-organisms (bacterium, viruses, parasites, etc), to a non-living micro particles (dusts, pollens, etc). In fact, there’s a different antigen for every cold that you’ve ever had and every type of flower that’s ever made you sneeze. But for the sake of this article not being too long, we’ll explain two antigens that poses as major threats:

  • Bacteria: Bacteria are like thugs, criminals, and monsters like you see in movies. They’re mostly huge in size, destroys everything, creating chaos in their paths.
  • virusViruses: Imagine a virus as a nanobot, that infiltrates silently and stealthily. Viruses can stay inactive for a long time, waiting for the right opportunity to multiply in numbers and strike. They can live inside the cells without the cell realizing their presence. Before you even realize, the virus have created a legion of robots, destroying and corrupting the system from the inside. Viruses mutates very fast too, this is why it is very hard to detect them.

 


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