By Paul F. Torrence

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The mediators may also be released by non-IgE-dependent mechanisms. Both cell types have limited phagocytic abilities and contribute to the defense against microorganisms by inciting inflammation. Platelets are nonreplicating cells that circulate and that are involved in clotting. T h o u g h not part of the immune system, they may be activated during certain immune reactions. Once activated, they release clotting and growth factors as well as enzymes that contribute to inflammation. III. BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE IMMUNE RESPONSE The immune system has the capacity to respond to an enormous array of foreign antigens through production of millions of specific antibodies and Τ cells.

They circulate, line the sinuses, and lie " f i x e d " within certain lymphoid organs. They not only digest foreign microorganisms and remove damaged cells, but they also interact with lymphocytes and secrete important bioactive materials. When in the blood, mononuclear phagocytes are known as monocytes. Monocytes can " t a k e residence" in tissues, where they become mature macrophages, but monocytes may also be " r e c r u i t e d " to tissues and differentiate into mature macrophages during the immune response (Fig.

Under certain experimental conditions, IgG in combination with complement promotes physical contact between the eosinophil and the parasite. 3. Basophils, Mast C e l l s , and Platelets Basophils and mast cells both stain with basic dyes because of their high content of acidic proteoglycans (Fig. 8). They produce and store histamine and release it when their IgE receptors bind IgE and antigen. The release 38 Margaret I. Johnston of histamine and other mediators results in vasodilation, increased vascular permeability, and Chemotaxis of eosinophils.

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