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The immune system

The very moment when the pin is pierced into your body, a number of living organisms would be trying to get into your body. At once, the immune system in your body would be pressed into action to fight with and destroy the invading bacteria besides trying to heal the wound. In this invisible fight, there is every chance for the immune system to eliminate the bacteria; or they might give in and get destroyed by the bacteria.

How the organs functions in the immune system:

Following are the organs functioning in the immune system:

  1. Thymus Gland
  2. Bone Marrow
  3. Lymph nodes
  4. Lymphatic vessels
  5. Spleen

Let us now learn more about each one of these organs.

1. Thymus Gland :- Located behind the breast-bone, this gland produces white blood cells which turn into T- lymphocytes and fight with the virus entering into the body. Together with another type of cells also called T-cells, fight with the germ cells. The cells that cooperate with T-cells are:-

  • Helper T-cells or co-operator cells: These cells help to develop antibodies in another type of cells called B­lymphocytes. (In AIDS, the aids virus destroys these helper T-cells and devitalises the patient).
  • Killer T-cells or Cytotoxic cells: When germ cells from outside enter our body, these killer cells quickly multiply and try to destroy the germ cells. Those that eliminate tumour germs are the killer T-cells.
  • Suppressor T-cells: The moment the enemy virus is defeated, these cells give orders to the killer cells to stop the fight.
    If the suppressor T-cells become weak or stop functioning, the other cells in the fight with the germ cells, do not get the signal to stop their fight. When such is the case, the immune system continues to fight and if there are no more enemy cells to fight with, they kill our own body cells leading to diseases in the joints like Rheumatoid Arthritis.

2. Bone Marrow :- This produces white blood cells which fight with the disease causing germs entering into our body.

3. Lymph Nodes :- These nodes produce a kind of blood cells called B-Iymphocytes on the upper part of which is a protein substance called 'Immunoglobulin.' These B-cells produce antibodies which fight with the germ cells.

4. Lymphatic Vessels :- These vessels carry the germs from the infected part to the lymph nodes where the antibodies produced in the lymph nodes, attack the germs and destroy them.

5. Spleen :- The germs carried in the blood stream reach here and get destroyed by the white blood cells in the fight.

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