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Postby SarahTessler » Tue May 24, 2011 2:52 am

Hi, I understand that the innate immune system complements the adaptive immune system but I was wondering does it also work the other way around. Do the adaptive (specific, acquired) immunological mechanisms in any way enhance or modulate the innate (non-specific) immune system? I was thinking that it does by way of the classical complement cascade with antibodies (which I believe are adaptive immunological mechanisms) opsonising antigens for digestion by phagocytes (innate immune modulators). Any thoughts or other suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks, SarahT.
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Postby biohazard » Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 am

Yeah, they complement each other in many ways, of which many are probably still unknown. Opsonising antibodies are a typical example of a situation where adaptive immune mechanisms enhance the innate ones. The functions of some antigen-presenting cells work in the opposite direction: e.g. macrophages phagocytose microbes in an "innate way" and dendritic cells randomly acquire antigens from their surroundings and these cells then present the antigens they have obtained to the cells of the adaptive immune system (namely, CD4+ T cells), which then results in an appropriate adaptive immune response if needed, including B cells and antibodies as well.

Also, many cytokine reactions function in a similar manner: cells of the innate or adaptive immune system may secrete cytokines and other mediators that also affect the cells of the "opposite" system.
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Re: Immunology

Postby Adz795 » Tue May 24, 2011 4:30 pm

Good explanation biohazard!
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