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Aim: How can the immune system malfunction? How can your immune system malfunction? 1. 2. 3. 4. Allergies Asthma Autoimmune Disease Organ Transplants What is an allergy? • An allergy is a rapid immune system reaction to environmental substances that are normally harmless. • Can you think of materials that can cause allergic reactions? What are things that cause allergies? Allergens Medicine INSECT Stings FOOD POLLEN ANIMAL FUR RAGWEED HOUSE DUST MOLD Allergic reactions • Inflammatory response: allergen attaches to mast cells which release histamines. • Histamines are chemicals that can trigger an inflammatory response (increase blood vessel permeability) • Hives, nausea, or shock • What can we take for allergies? Asthma can be an allergic reaction Extrinsic Asthma • In response to an allergen, histamine causes a contraction of smooth muscles. • How does this cause the symptoms of asthma? •Histamine Reaction causes respiratory passages to constrict or swell up. Allergies Autoimmune disease The immune system fails to distinguish between self and non-self cells. The word "auto" is the Greek word for self. If a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks self, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs of a person's own body. Examples of Autoimmune diseases Diabetes is a disease, which prevents the body from properly using food energy. In Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks the protective coating around nerves, called myelin. Rheumatoid arthritis Joints swell Why are organ transplants difficult? • This is a kidney being removed from a donor • The donor will have his own ID tags on the cell membrane. What are these ID tags called? How will the recipient react? • A transplanted organ is recognized as foreign and is attacked by the immune system (REJECTION). • The chance of REJECTION is less when the donor and recipient are closely related or when anti-rejection medication is used. Why take an immunosuppressant? It will suppress your immune system and reduce the chance of destroying the transplanted organ. What is the risk of suppressing the immune system? It increases the patient’s risk for an infection.