Immunology and inflammation
Let’s go back in time: In 1971, the well-known structures of antibodies were first discovered. This was the beginning of structural immunology. Researchers began to understand the principle of antibodies and discovered the possibilities for their applicability in the large universe of the medical field. About 15 to 20 years later, groundbreaking structures in the cellular immune system appeared. They illustrated how processed protein antigens in the form of peptides are presented by MHC molecules to T cell receptors. In addition, it was discovered that our immune system can be specified into lines of defense: Innate and adaptive immunity. The innate immune system intervenes directly on certain antigens, while the adaptive immune system continues to evolve to increase immunity [ref. 1]. Innate immunity is considered to be the first line of defense to an intruding pathogen. Numerous cells are involved, such as phagocytes (macrophages and neutrophils), dendritic cells, mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, natural killer (NK) cells and lymphocytes (T cells). The innate immune response has no immunologic memory and, therefore, it is unable to recognize or ‘memorize’ the same pathogen when exposed to in in the future. Adaptive immunity is capable of memorizing and this initiates a more rapid and efficient immune response when the host is infected by a pathogen the second time [ref. 2].
From immunology to inflammation …
Immunology brings us to the next interesting research area: Inflammation, defined as a response to stimulation by invading pathogens or endogenous signals. [ref. 3] When a wound swells up, turns red and hurts, it may be a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s immune system’s response to an irritant. The irritant might be a pathogen (bacteria, viruses or funghi), but it could also be a foreign object, such as a splinter in your finger [ref. 4].
Primary inflammatory stimuli, including cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), facilitate inflammation through interaction with the ‘Toll-Like Receptors’ (TLRs), IL-1 receptor (IL-1R), IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), and the TNF receptor (TNFR). Receptor activation triggers important pathways such as the NF-κB, MAPK, and JAK-STAT [ref. 5].
… and to immunization
Immunization through vaccination protects us from serious diseases and also prevent the spread of those diseases to others [ref. 6]. A recent topic is the rapid development of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, which can be considered as the most important scientific achievement of our time: ‘Operation warp-speed’. As soon as the sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was known, the development of a vaccine against the virus, was initiated. Genetic vaccines are the newest technology, made out of synthetic mRNA. Due to this special operation, the four phases of development were ran simultaneously without compromising safety. A lot of time has been saved. With the help of tens of thousands volunteers, scientists succeeded to approve safe and very effective genetic vaccines in a record time. This is very promising for the future, as scientists are exploring the possibilities conquering other diseases with genetic vaccines [ref. 7].
Bio-Connect connects you with immunology and inflammation research products
Working in Immunology? We offer many different products for immunology research such as:
- Primary and secondary antibodies;
- Assay and ELISA kits;
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- Wilson IA, Stanfield RL. 50 Years of structural immunology. J Biol Chem. 2021;296:100745.
- Warrington R, Watson W, Kim HL, Antonetti FR. An introduction to immunology and immunopathology. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2011;7 Suppl 1:S1.
- A current view on inflammation. Nat Immunol. 2017;18(8):825.
- Information NC for B, Pike USNL of M 8600 R, MD B, Usa 20894. What Is an Inflammation? Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2018.
- Chen L, Deng H, Cui H, et al. Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget. 2018;9(6):7204-7218.
- Goodman S. Immunizations and vaccines. WebMD.
- Discovery Plus – ‘The vaccines – Conquering Covid’