4. Adaptive Immunity

Innate Immunity vs. Adaptive Immunity: A summary

The following chart compares and summarizes all of the important parts of each immune system:

AttributeInnate ImmunityAdaptive Immunity
Response TimeFast: minutes or hoursSlow: days
SpecificityOnly specific for molecules and molecular patterns associated with general pathogens or foreign particlesHighly specific! Can discriminate between pathogen vs. non-pathogen structures, and miniscule differences in molecular structures
Major Cell TypesMacrophages, Neutrophils, Natural Killer Cells, Dendritic Cells, Basophils, EosinophilsT cells, B cells, and other antigen presenting cells
Key ComponentsAntimicrobial peptides and proteins, such as toxic granulesAntibodies
Self vs. Nonself DiscriminationInnate immunity is based on self vs. nonself discrimination, so it has to be perfectNot as good as the innate immune system, but still pretty good at determining which is which. Problems in self vs. nonself discrimination result in autoimmune diseases
Immunological MemoryNoneMemory used can lead to faster response to recurrent or subsequent infections
Diversity and CustomizationLimited: Receptors used are standard and only recognize antigen patterns. No new receptors are made to adapt the immune responseHighly diverse: can be customized by genetic recombination to recognize epitopes and antigenic determinants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *