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Innate vs. Adaptive Immunity

  Innate immunity Adaptive immunity
COMPONENTS Neutrophils, macrophages, monocytes, dendritic cells, mast cells, eosinophils, basophils, natural killer (NK) cells (lymphoid origin), complement, physical epithelial barriers, secreted enzymes. T cells, B cells, circulating antibodies
MECHANISM Germline encoded Variation through V(D)J recombination during lymphocyte development in the bone marrow
RESISTANCE Resistance persists through generations; does not change within an organism’s lifetime Microbial resistance not heritable
RESPONSE TO PATHOGENS Nonspecific

Occurs rapidly (minutes to hours)

No memory response

Highly specific, refined over time Develops over long periods; memory response is faster and more robust
SECRETED PROTEINS Lysozyme, complement, C-reactive protein (CRP), defensins Immunoglobulins
KEY FEATURES IN PATHOGEN RECOGNITION Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on macrophages and dendritic cells: pattern recognition receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and lead to activation of the transcription factor NF-κB → activates immune response genes → immune mediators.

Examples of PAMPs include LPS (on  outer membrane of gram ⊝ bacteria) recognition by CD14 on macrophages, flagellin (bacteria), nucleic acids (viruses). Dectin-1 pattern recognition receptors on phagocytes detect fungi.

Memory cells: activated B and T cells; subsequent exposure to a previously encountered antigen → stronger, quicker immune response

TLRs are also present.

 

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