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Chapter 3 : Cells of the Immune System

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Abstract:

The cells of the immune system include the granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils), mast cells, monocytes, dendritic cells, lymphocytes, and platelets. This chapter covers growth and development of immune cell types; identification of cell types by cell surface markers; morphology and immune function of myeloid cell types; morphology and immune function of lymphoid cell types. In adults, hematopoiesis normally takes place in the bone marrow. Neutrophils are the most numerous leukocytes in the blood and the most important cellular component of the innate immune system for destroying bacteria and fungi via phagocytosis. As such, neutrophils are a major first line of defense against such infections. Lymphoid cells are morphologically the simplest and functionally the most diverse cells of the immune system. In summary, lymphoid cell surface markers can be used to provide not only information about a lymphocyte's lineage but also specific information about a lymphocyte's maturation and activational state. Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the innate immune system and are able to act rapidly, within several hours of challenge.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3

Key Concept Ranking

Innate Immune System
1.18681
Complement System
1.1034772
White Blood Cells
0.9957143
Immune Systems
0.84399885
Immune Organs
0.78629994
Immune Cells
0.78019124
1.18681
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Figures

Image of Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1

White blood cell hematopoiesis and role of key cytokines in this process. Stem cells either self-renew or produce progeny that are more committed to a particular differentiation path. The process is influenced both by factors produced within the bone marrow and by factors produced outside the bone marrow in response to stressors such as infections. Some cells, such as dendritic cells, can be produced by alternative pathways. Note that dendritic cells can arise from several different progenitor cells, some myeloid and some lymphoid. EPO, erythropoietin.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.2
Figure 3.2

The use of antibodies to specific cell surface markers to characterize different types of cells. Monoclonal antibodies specific for lineage-specific markers can be used to identify one cell type of interest in a complex mixture of cell types. Through the use of fluorescently labeled monoclonal antibodies and a process called fluorescence-activated cell sorting, cells of a particular lineage can be physically separated from a complex mixture of irrelevant cell types. Cell-specific markers can be used to identify cells within a broad lineage (such as lymphocytes) or to identify cells of a single particular lineage (such as B cells). Some markers are only expressed at certain developmental stages (differentiation markers) or are only expressed after cell activation (activation markers), and are useful for identifying cells that are in a particular developmental or activational stage. A triangle indicates a cell that can be identified within a particular group of cells.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.3
Figure 3.3

Photomicrograph of a monocyte or macrophage. Schematic diagram of a monocytic cell indicating characteristic surface molecules. Receptors such as the mannose and LPS receptors allow monocytic cells to be broadly reactive with microbes.When microbes are coated with antibody or complement, Fc and complement receptors promote a much more vigorous phagocytic response.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.4
Figure 3.4

Functions of monocytic cells.Monocytic cells are versatile cells, being important in both innate and acquired immune responses. Not only do these cells attack microbes and cancer cells and act as APCs, they also produce cytokines that mobilize defenses in response to an infection. Cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α induce fever, induce the production of acute-phase reactants by the liver, modulate the circulation of zinc and copper, induce production of adrenal corticotropic hormone in the brain, and influence metabolism. As phagocytic scavenger cells, monocytic cells also are involved in tissue remodeling and repair. In addition, monocytes are important sources of several components of the complement system.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.5
Figure 3.5

Reactive oxygen products generated in a respiratory burst can kill microorganisms. The reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase complex at the phagocyte surface or adjoining a phagosome can be activated by phagocytosis, by bacterial products such as LPS or formylated peptides, and by certain cytokines. The oxidase transfers electrons to oxygen to produce superoxide, which can further react to produce hydrogen and nitrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, and hydroxyl radicals and related toxic molecules. MPO, myeloperoxidase; O•, superoxide; ONOO, nitrogen peroxide; HO, hydrogen peroxide; HDCL, hyperchlorous acid; OH, hydroxyl radical; R-NHCl, reactive nitrogen.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.6
Figure 3.6

The granulocytes. Schematic diagram of a neutrophil. The neutrophil is characterized by a number of adhesion molecules, FcRs, and receptors for complement. The primary, or azurophilic, granules contain acid hydrolases, myeloperoxidase, elastase, cathepsin, and lysozyme. Secondary, or specific, granules contain lysozyme, collagenase, and lactoferrin. Photomicrograph of a neutrophil. Note the irregularly shaped nucleus. Schematic diagram of an eosinophil. Eosinophils express FcRs for IgA, IgE, and IgG and for several adhesion molecules. Their granules contain major basic protein, cationic protein, and an eosinophil peroxidase. Photomicrograph of an eosinophil. Schematic diagram of a basophil. Basophils express a high-affinity FcR for IgE, which allows them to degranulate in response to IgE-containing immune complexes. Basophil granules contain histamine, neutral proteases, heparin, chondroitin sulfate, and the cytokine TNF-α. Photomicrograph of a basophil.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.7
Figure 3.7

Immune function of platelets. Platelets that have been activated by PAF or immune complexes express P-selectin on their surface and can release a number of mediators that influence immunity. Activated neutrophils can bind to the P-selectin. PF4 also induces expression of adhesion molecules on monocytes and neutrophils. Platelets also can release several chemotactic factors, including PF4, platelet-derived growth factor, PAF, RANTES, TGF-β, IL-6, IL-8, and the lipoxygenase products 12-HETE and LT4B. Histamine, serotonin, and cationic proteins induce vasodilation, whereas serotonin, PAF, and thromboxane cause bronchoconstriction. In addition, platelets that are stimulated through their FcRs can be directly cytotoxic to bacteria and parasites, in part through the production of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.8
Figure 3.8

Schematic diagram of a dendritic cell highlighting cell surface molecules important to its function as an APC. These include MHC class II for antigen presentation; CD80 (B7-1) and CD86 (B7-2), which are important costimulatory molecules for activating T cells; and several adhesion molecules.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.9
Figure 3.9

The activity of two different subsets of dendritic cells (DC1 and DC2), arising from precursor cells (pDC1 and pDC2), regulates the maturation of TH cells into either TH1 or TH2. Cytokines produced by mature TH cells (such as IL-4) exert feedback regulation on the development of DC1 and DC2 cells. Therefore, if TH2 cells become the predominant type of TH cell in a given host animal, IL-4 secreted by the TH2 cells will preferentially induce the maturation of TH1 cells. Thus, this feedback regulation ensures a balance of TH1 and TH2 cells within the host.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.10
Figure 3.10

Photomicrograph of a lymphocyte. Lymphocytes appear as small round cells that contain a relatively large nucleus and a small amount of cytoplasm. Schematic diagrams of B and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes are characterized by the expression of surface immunoglobulin (BCR) and the markers CD19 and CD20. The BCR is flanked by the signal transduction molecules Ig-α and Ig-β. In addition, B cells constitutively express MHC class II molecules, several complement receptors, and a receptor of the Fc portion of immunoglobulin. T cells are characterized by the expression of a TCR in association with the signal transduction complex CD3. T cells also express the CD28 molecule, which functions as a receptor for a costimulatory signal. CD2 is a pan-T-cell marker expressed on all T cells that also can provide an activation signal when engaged. Mature T cells are subdivided into those that express CD4 and those that express CD8. Photograph of a large granular lymphocyte. These cells are several micrometers larger than normal lymphocytes and have cytoplasmic granules containing lytic enzymes, perforin, and the cytokine TNF-α. Courtesy of Michael H. Ross. Schematic diagram of NK cell. NK cells express a number of markers shared with other cells with killer function. These include CD7, CD11b, CD16, CD57, and CD94. NK cells also express the IL-2R α chain. The killer inhibitor receptor (KIR) molecule inhibits killer function when it is engaged by MHC on the potential target cell.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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Image of Figure 3.11
Figure 3.11

ADCC. Antibody bound to target cells can bind to effector cells via an FcR expressed by the effector cell. The effector cell is then activated to kill the target cell. Effector cells include NK cells, macrophages, and eosinophils. Effector cells can also be pre-armed by binding to antibody before their encounter with the target cell.

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555816148.chap3
1. Arock, M.,, E. Schneider,, M. Boissan,, V. Tricottet,, and M. Dy. 2002. Differentiation of human basophils: an overview of recent advances and pending questions. J. Leukoc. Biol. 71:557564.
2. Austen, K. F.,, and J. A. Boyce. 2001. Mast cell lineage development and phenotypic regulation. Leuk. Res. 25:511518.
3. Bonnet, D. 2002. Haematopoietic stem cells. J. Pathol. 197: 430440.
4. Friedman, A.D. 2002. Transcriptional regulation of granulocyte and monocyte development. Oncogene 21:33773390.
5. Guermonprez, P.,, J. Valladeau,, L. Zitvogel,, C. Thery,, and S. Amigorena. 2002. Antigen presentation and T cell stimulation by dendritic cells. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 20:621667.
6. Kaushansky, K.,, and J. G. Drachman. 2002. The molecular and cellular biology of thrombopoietin: the primary regulator of platelet production. Oncogene 21:33593367.
7. Moretta, L.,, C. Bottino,, D. Pende,, M. C. Mingari,, R. Biassoni,, and A. Moretta. 2002. Human natural killer cells: their origin, receptors and function. Eur. J. Immunol. 32:12051211.
8. Robinson, D. S.,, and A. O’Garra. 2002. Further checkpoints in TH1 development. Immunity 16:755758.
9. Schebesta, M.,, B. Heavey,, and M. Busslinger. 2002. Transcriptional control of B-cell development. Curr. Opin. Immunol. 14:216223.
10. Shortman, K.,, and Y. J. Liu. 2002. Mouse and human dendritic cell subtypes. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2:151161.

Tables

Generic image for table
Table 3.1

Immune cell markers

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
Generic image for table
Table 3.2

Granulocytes

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3
Generic image for table
Table 3.3

Granulocyte products

Citation: Levy E. 2004. Cells of the Immune System, p 47-66. In Pier G, Lyczak J, Wetzler L (ed), Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816148.ch3

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