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Lernmaterialien für Immunology I an der RWTH Aachen

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What are memory cells? What is their main function?

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Memory cells are further differentiated effector cells, which turned into a special long-lived cell type. Their main function is to provide protection against repeated infection with the same pathogen. Memory cells are activated faster and have a lower threshold of activation compared to naïve T cells. They are located throughout the body (e.g. peripheral tissues, recirculating between blood and lymph nodes or lymph node resident).

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What is immunology? 

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Immunology describes "the study of the immune system" . ​ The immune system is made up of two major parts the adaptive immunity​ and the ​innate immunity.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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What are pattern recognition receptors?

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Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) play a crucial role in the proper function of the innate immune system. PRRs are germline-encoded host sensors, which detect molecules typical for the pathogens. They are proteins expressed, mainly, by cells of the innate immune system, such as dendritic cells, macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, and epithelial cells, to identify two classes of molecules: pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are associated with microbial pathogens, and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which are associated with components of host's cells that are released during cell damage or death. They are also called primitive pattern recognition receptors because they evolved before other parts of the immune system, particularly before adaptive immunity. PRRs also mediate the initiation of antigen-specific adaptive immune response and release of inflammatory cytokines.

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What is the consequence of antigen presentation to Th cells? To CTLs?

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Antigen presentation to Th cells sends the signal “I need help!”. Depending on the type of Th cell, they help other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system (e.g. by making cytokines): 

  • Macrophage activation 
  • B cell class-switching and proliferation
  • DC “licencing” 

Antigen presentation tp CTLs sends the signal “ Kill me!”, which leads to the CTLs directly killing target cells, such as virus-infected cells or cancer cells. 

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What is cross presentation?

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Cross-presentation is the ability of dendritic cells to take up, process and present exogenous antigens with MHC class I molecules to CD8 T cells. Cross-presentation depends on export of antigens from the phagosome to the cytoplasm.

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What are interferons?

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Interferons (IFNs) are secreted factors that induce an antiviral state in responding cells. There are different types of IFNs:

  • Type I (α- and β-IFNs) can be produced by all cells. Especially high production by specialised plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs)
  • Type II (IFNγ produced by immune cells “immune interferon”). Efficient activator of macrophages
  • Type III (e.g. IFNλ) mainly produced at mucosal surface
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What tissues are involved in immune defence?

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  • Lymphoid tissue: [primary (bone marrow, thymus), secondary (lymph nodes, spleen, Peyer’s patch), tertiary]
  • Circulatory system (blood, lymph)
  • Non-lymphoid (peripheral) tissues [barrier tissues (skin, mucosae), internal organs, everything else!]
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Describe the process of haematopoiesis. What are the two main blood cell lineages?

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Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are the stem cells that give rise to other blood cells. This process is called hematopoiesis. The process occurs in the bone marrow where HSCs can develop into either common lymphoid progenitor (CLP) or common myeloid progenitor (CMP). 

In the bone marrow, CLP can become pro-T, pro-B, NK-cells or immature dendritic cells. B-cells, T-cells and NK cells continue onto the lymph nodes while the immature dendritic cells move to tissue and from there continue into the lymph nodes where they become mature dendritic cells. Effector cells are plasma cells, activated T-cells and activated NK-cells.

The myeloid branch of development starts with the CMP in the bone marrow where it can differentiate into either a granulocyte/macrophage progenitor or a megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitor. From there the granulocyte/macrophage progenitor can differentiate into the granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophil, basophil), unknown precursor of a mast cell or a monocyte. Megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitor differentiates into either a megakaryocyte or an erythroblast while still in the bone marrow. In the blood, they become platelets/thrombocytes respectively erythrocytes.  The unknown precursor of a mast cell and macrophage while moving into the tissue. 

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How do vaccines work? 
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Vaccines work by introducing an "immunological memory". ​It starts with the activation of the adaptive immune system​, consisting of two types of lymphocytes: B and T cells. We have many B and T cells, all of which have the potential to bind a different "antigen. In an infection, or this case immunisation, the T and B cells that recognise the specific antigen proliferation, which is called clonal expansion. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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What is the main function of secondary lymphoid tissues?

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Secondary lymphoid tissues are sites where lymphocytes interact with each other and non-lymphoid cells in which adaptive immune responses are initiated. These include the spleen white pulp, lymph nodes, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT).

Lymphocytes arise from stem cells in BM and mature in primary lymphoid organs. They migrate via blood to secondary lymphoid organs. Lymph carries antigen from periphery to lymph nodes and recirculating lymphocytes back to the bloodstream.

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What are the main cell types of the innate immune system?

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neutrophils, eosinophil, basophil, monocyte (all Granulocytes), NK cells and macrophages

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What is the role of primary lymphoid tissues?

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The lymphoid tissues can be divided into primary and secondary lymphoid organs. Primary lymphoid tissues are sites where lymphocytes develop from progenitor cells into functional and mature lymphocytes. The major primary lymphoid tissue is the marrow, the site where all lymphocyte progenitor cells reside and initially differentiate. The other primary lymphoid tissue is the thymus, the site where progenitor cells from the marrow differentiate into mature thymus-derived (T) cells.

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Q:

What are memory cells? What is their main function?

A:

Memory cells are further differentiated effector cells, which turned into a special long-lived cell type. Their main function is to provide protection against repeated infection with the same pathogen. Memory cells are activated faster and have a lower threshold of activation compared to naïve T cells. They are located throughout the body (e.g. peripheral tissues, recirculating between blood and lymph nodes or lymph node resident).

Q:

What is immunology? 

A:

Immunology describes "the study of the immune system" . ​ The immune system is made up of two major parts the adaptive immunity​ and the ​innate immunity.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Q:

What are pattern recognition receptors?

A:

Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) play a crucial role in the proper function of the innate immune system. PRRs are germline-encoded host sensors, which detect molecules typical for the pathogens. They are proteins expressed, mainly, by cells of the innate immune system, such as dendritic cells, macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, and epithelial cells, to identify two classes of molecules: pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are associated with microbial pathogens, and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which are associated with components of host's cells that are released during cell damage or death. They are also called primitive pattern recognition receptors because they evolved before other parts of the immune system, particularly before adaptive immunity. PRRs also mediate the initiation of antigen-specific adaptive immune response and release of inflammatory cytokines.

Q:

What is the consequence of antigen presentation to Th cells? To CTLs?

A:

Antigen presentation to Th cells sends the signal “I need help!”. Depending on the type of Th cell, they help other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system (e.g. by making cytokines): 

  • Macrophage activation 
  • B cell class-switching and proliferation
  • DC “licencing” 

Antigen presentation tp CTLs sends the signal “ Kill me!”, which leads to the CTLs directly killing target cells, such as virus-infected cells or cancer cells. 

Q:

What is cross presentation?

A:

Cross-presentation is the ability of dendritic cells to take up, process and present exogenous antigens with MHC class I molecules to CD8 T cells. Cross-presentation depends on export of antigens from the phagosome to the cytoplasm.

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Q:

What are interferons?

A:

Interferons (IFNs) are secreted factors that induce an antiviral state in responding cells. There are different types of IFNs:

  • Type I (α- and β-IFNs) can be produced by all cells. Especially high production by specialised plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs)
  • Type II (IFNγ produced by immune cells “immune interferon”). Efficient activator of macrophages
  • Type III (e.g. IFNλ) mainly produced at mucosal surface
Q:

What tissues are involved in immune defence?

A:
  • Lymphoid tissue: [primary (bone marrow, thymus), secondary (lymph nodes, spleen, Peyer’s patch), tertiary]
  • Circulatory system (blood, lymph)
  • Non-lymphoid (peripheral) tissues [barrier tissues (skin, mucosae), internal organs, everything else!]
Q:

Describe the process of haematopoiesis. What are the two main blood cell lineages?

A:

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are the stem cells that give rise to other blood cells. This process is called hematopoiesis. The process occurs in the bone marrow where HSCs can develop into either common lymphoid progenitor (CLP) or common myeloid progenitor (CMP). 

In the bone marrow, CLP can become pro-T, pro-B, NK-cells or immature dendritic cells. B-cells, T-cells and NK cells continue onto the lymph nodes while the immature dendritic cells move to tissue and from there continue into the lymph nodes where they become mature dendritic cells. Effector cells are plasma cells, activated T-cells and activated NK-cells.

The myeloid branch of development starts with the CMP in the bone marrow where it can differentiate into either a granulocyte/macrophage progenitor or a megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitor. From there the granulocyte/macrophage progenitor can differentiate into the granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophil, basophil), unknown precursor of a mast cell or a monocyte. Megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitor differentiates into either a megakaryocyte or an erythroblast while still in the bone marrow. In the blood, they become platelets/thrombocytes respectively erythrocytes.  The unknown precursor of a mast cell and macrophage while moving into the tissue. 

Q:
How do vaccines work? 
A:
Vaccines work by introducing an "immunological memory". ​It starts with the activation of the adaptive immune system​, consisting of two types of lymphocytes: B and T cells. We have many B and T cells, all of which have the potential to bind a different "antigen. In an infection, or this case immunisation, the T and B cells that recognise the specific antigen proliferation, which is called clonal expansion. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Q:

What is the main function of secondary lymphoid tissues?

A:

Secondary lymphoid tissues are sites where lymphocytes interact with each other and non-lymphoid cells in which adaptive immune responses are initiated. These include the spleen white pulp, lymph nodes, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT).

Lymphocytes arise from stem cells in BM and mature in primary lymphoid organs. They migrate via blood to secondary lymphoid organs. Lymph carries antigen from periphery to lymph nodes and recirculating lymphocytes back to the bloodstream.

Q:

What are the main cell types of the innate immune system?

A:

neutrophils, eosinophil, basophil, monocyte (all Granulocytes), NK cells and macrophages

Q:

What is the role of primary lymphoid tissues?

A:

The lymphoid tissues can be divided into primary and secondary lymphoid organs. Primary lymphoid tissues are sites where lymphocytes develop from progenitor cells into functional and mature lymphocytes. The major primary lymphoid tissue is the marrow, the site where all lymphocyte progenitor cells reside and initially differentiate. The other primary lymphoid tissue is the thymus, the site where progenitor cells from the marrow differentiate into mature thymus-derived (T) cells.

Immunology I

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