The immune response, self-awareness

Delimitation cycle

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everything is possible when we are children, since everything is new, discovery, magic. We fully live the present moment, without seeking to achieve a particular goal, under the caring eye of the parents. As adults, we have learned that each act has consequences, with advantages and disadvantages, and out of fear, we often limit our choices. If to live humanely, it was the attention paid to his adult choices, with the aim of living fully the present moment as a child.

Live simply
so that others may simply live.
Mahatma GANDHI

The immune response combines three characteristics to react to the outside world:

Protect yourself from visible physical obstacles

The body’s first line of defense is made up of non-specific barriers.

  • The skin and mucous membranes that cover the outside of the body, or the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary and reproductive systems, which produce additional barriers: mucous secretions, enzymes and their acidity;
  • Hunting mechanisms such as tears and urination;
  • Thick, sticky mucus to sequester pathogens;
  • Strong cough or sneezes.

These elements are intended to preserve the interior of the healthy body.

Symptoms to show the invisible

The second line of defense is innate.

It intervenes if the non-specific barriers are exceeded.

It involves:

  • Many cells;
  • Antimicrobial products;
  • Mechanisms of inflammation.

It shows symptoms:

  • Redness;
  • Fever;
  • Sweats;
  • Pain.

These elements call for the person to rest, or protect the injured part of his body, to give the body time to regenerate, thanks to the innate immune response.

A specific, systemic, memory response

The third line of defense is characterized by the specific recognition of a specific pathogen, and a rapid response against iterative invasion of the pathogen.

Take the example of B cell activation:

  • The B lymphocyte recognizes the pathogen by an antibody attached to its surface. This antibody is specific for the antigen and the B lymphocyte becomes sensitized;
  • The B lymphocyte is then activated when an inactive T helper lymphocyte recognizes the same antigen. linked to the B lymphocyte, and secretes lymphokines which lead to the division of the sensitized B lymphocyte;
  • The division of this B lymphocyte generates millions of B cells, which transform into plasma cells which then secrete antibodies specific for the antigen, in the blood and the lymph;
  • These circulating antibodies bind to this specific antigen of the pathogen and make it accessible to its destruction by phagocytes. Antibodies can also bind directly to bacterial toxins or to receptors used by bacteria and viruses so as to neutralize the invader;
  • The division of B cells also leads to the memorization of aggression and of the response in the event of re-exposure of the organism to the same foreign antigen, thanks to memory T lymphocytes.

It is thanks to a structured coordination of B, T lymphocytes and the intervention of other different elements such as macrophages, that the body can neutralize pathogens and regain its health.

Let’s use protection, attention, dialogue, to learn to gain self-confidence for your choices:

If the human body is able to distinguish a pathogen
from a normal body cell,
thanks to the molecules present on their surface;

We can learn to dialogue with our body, and know
when it is in good health,
when it is in the presence of danger,
when it needs nurse oneself;

Let’s try to get to know each other,
in order to recognize ourselves among others,
we discovered the freedom to live together.

Bibliographic reference:
– The information on the immune response is taken from the book « The Netter’s Anatomy Coloring Book », John T. HANSE, Elsevier Masson SAS, 2017 (the french version).

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