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Peter Helli

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Pathophysiology: Inflammation and Immunity
Human Defense Mechanisms
- Inflammation can be specific
oIs also called the immune response
- Inflammation can also be non-specific
oIs also called the inflammatory response
- Inflammation can be innate or acquired
oInnate: Natural or present at birth
oAcquired: evolving over time after birth
- We are all born with the same innate abilities to protect ourselves, but each one of
us will each vary in our ability to acquire immunity based on our individual
experiences with exposure to pathogens and foreign antigens over our lifetime
- Natural Barriers
oFirst line of defense
oThe epithelial layer of the skin and mucous membranes lining the
gastrointestinal, genitourinary and repiratory tracts.
These are called natural physical barriers
oPhysical barriers can include mechanical and chemical types
oMechanical means
Ridding the body of pathogens
Sloughing, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, urinating and the cilia
action of the respiratory tract
Low skin temperature discourage the growth of bacteria
oChemical barriers
Mucous, perspiration, saliva, tears, and earwax that trap and kill
Some of these barriers contain enzymes, fatty and lactic acids and
antimicrobial proteins that destroy bacteria
Our own normal bacteria flora are capable of producing chemicals
to keep pathogens at bay
- Inflammation
oSecond line of defense
- Immunity
oThird line of defense and is acquired, specific and adaptive ability
oOver time our immune system develops specific antibodies designed to
target specific and this defense mechanism has memory
Upon first exposure to an antigen, our immune system makes
antibodies targeted toward the antigen
Upon exposure to that same antigen, those antibodies that ‘match
the antigen with be called to action to fight off new infection
- Terms
oHumoral and cellular
Tell us where the inflammatory response originates
Response comes from the blood or plasma components
In inflammation involves complement factors
In immunity it involves the formation and action of antibodies
Refers to a cell derived process
In inflammation, the involved cells are neutrophils and
In immunity, its lymphocytes
- Protective response designed to eliminate the initial cause of injury, remove
damaged tissue and generate new tissue
- The biochemical and cellular response of vascularized tissue to injury
oDesigned to protect the body from further injury
- Important to emphasize the vascularized feature of inflammation
oOccurs in tissues and organs that are vascularized or perfused with blood
Goals of inflammation
- Goals include:
oMovement of all necessary blood and cellular components to the site of
injury or insult
oDelivery of nutrients and blood cells to the site of injury
oDilution, confinement and elimination of the offending agents
oStimulate and assist the immune system
oPromotion of healing with generation of new tissue
- Three events must occur simultaneously in order for inflammation to occur
oIncreased metabolic rate
When there is an injury or infection
Cells step up their usual daily routines and increase production of
the necessary items for battle
As a result, we increase our heat production, our oxygen and
glucose consumption and our production of wastes
oDilation of blood vessels
Help speed up delivery of the inflammatory components to the site
of injury
oIncreased capillary permeability
Allows for movement of white cells (neutrophils), proteins and
nutrients out of the blood vessels and into the tissue where they can
go to work
Causes of Inflammation
- Microbes
- Immune reactions between antigen and antibody
- Trauma
- Burns
- Physical or chemical agents
- Tissue necrosis
- Temperature extremes
- Oxygen deprivation
- Nutrient deprivation
- Genetic or immune defects
- Ionizing radiation
Acute Inflammation
- A response to injury or insult that occurs early and quick
oMinutes to hours
- Triggered by a variety of stimuli
oMediated by many factors
- Acute inflammation doesn’t last long and is self limiting

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