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The innate immune system 

The innate immune system
Chapter:
The innate immune system
Author(s):

Paul Bowness

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0038
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date: 07 March 2021

The innate immune system comprises evolutionarily ancient mechanisms that mediate first-line responses against microbial pathogens, and are also important in priming and execution of adaptive immune responses, and in defence against tumours. These responses, which recognize microbial non-self, damaged self, and absent self, are characterized by rapidity of action and they involve various different cell types, cell-associated receptors, and soluble factors. Previously thought to lack plasticity or memory, certain innate immune responses have recently been shown to be capable of ‘learning’ or ‘training’. Most cells of the innate immune system are derived from the myeloid precursors in the bone marrow. These include monocytes and their derivatives—macrophages and dendritic cells, blood granulocytes (neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils), and tissue mast cells.

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