A Brief Tour of Your Immune System

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A Brief Tour of Your Immune System

By Dr. Jonathon Chung

For the past 10 years, I’ve spent my free time and creative energy learning and teaching about neuroscience and the human nervous system. It’s why our office has evolved to integrate neuroplasticity in our clinical practice.

However, there was a time where I was a major in Microbiology/Molecular Biology, and I was enamored with the study of the immune system.

With all of the time we have social distancing because of the spread of COVID-19, I wanted to see if there was interest in people learning about the immune system and the brief intro on Instagram really took off, so today we’re going to take a brief tour of your immune system and how it protects us from bacteria and viruses.

Innate vs Adaptive Immunity

Your immune system has 2 major divisions: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. They’re made up of different cells and attack germs in different ways. Both are equally important, and both rely on each other for a comprehensive response to potential infection.

Innate Immunity – The first line of defense

The innate immunity is considered your first line of defense. It includes physical barriers like your skin and nose hairs which provide a wall to prevent entry from foreign invaders. It also includes things like mucous and stomach secretions which can entrap or inactivate proteins that may cause us harm.

From a cellular stand point, we have groups of white blood cells that are the first to show up whenever a bacteria, virus, or organism that breaks through the physical barriers. Your innate immune response acts immediately, and is usually responsible for the initial inflammation and swelling you see after you have a cut on your skin.

You can see the main players in the image below:

The different cellular components of your innate immune system

Read on . . .