Immunotropic drugs - Pharmacology

Immunotropic drugs

The immune system is a collection of organs, tissues and cells that ensure the cellular-genetic constancy of the organism. The body has a powerful protective potential that prevents the penetration of a huge number of infectious agents from the environment. These protection factors are divided into constitutional (congenital) and acquired.

Protective factors, or factors of nonspecific resistance, are natural barriers to infection, they are divided into mechanical and chemical. The main mechanical barriers - skin and mucous membranes - constitute the first line of defense against infectious agents, the secrets of these barriers destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. If the latter overcome these surface barriers, they face a variety of constitutional factors (second line of nonspecific protection). The latter are usually divided into humoral and cellular . Humoral factors - cytokines (interferons, interleukins) and other bioorganic compounds, formed in the process of inflammation. Cytokines attract cells of the immune system to the foci of infection and promote the healing of damaged tissues. Interferons is a common name, which is currently combined with a number of proteins that have antiviral activity against different viruses.

In 1957, employees of the London National Institute of Virology, Englishman A. Isaac and Swiss J. Lindeman accidentally discovered interferon during the experiments. Researchers faced an incomprehensible phenomenon: mice that were infected with certain viruses, did not fall ill. The search for the reasons for this phenomenon showed that mice that did not succumb to infection with viruses were already infected with another viral infection at the time of infection. Thus it was found out that in the body of mice one of the viruses prevents the reproduction of the other. This phenomenon of antagonism of viruses was called interference (from English, interference - an obstacle, an obstacle), this phenomenon occurs when two viruses are introduced into the body simultaneously or with an interval of no more than 24 hours.

Interferons are divided into groups depending on the type of cells in which they are formed: α, β and γ.

The complement system is a group of proteins contained in fresh blood serum of humans and animals, activated when the antibody binds to the antigen. This process leads to the death of certain cell types ( lysis mediated by complement) or to the formation of biologically active substances from complement proteins that, when attached to bacteria, facilitate their phagocytosis by neutrophils. Cellular factors protection - phagocytes (macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, etc.). These cells recognize and destroy foreign particles by phagocytosis (ingestion and subsequent intracellular digestion) or, in the case of large foreign bodies (eg parasites or large tumor cells), by isolating destructive particles.

Acquired protective factors are specific reactions of the immune system to a particular infectious agent or any other substrate that has signs of foreignness. The specificity of the antigen allows for reactions that are targeted to specific microorganisms or to cells infected by them. The main types of lymphocytes are T- and B-lymphocytes. The cells of the immune system are formed by differentiation from the polypotent stem cell of the blood in the bone marrow, and the T-lymphocytes additionally pass through the stages of differentiation in the thymus. B-lymphocytes are responsible for humoral immunity, T-lymphocytes are the basis of the cellular link of a specific immune response.

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