Immune Cells

The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases.

A shield that protects your body

What are immune cells?

Immune cells exist in the blood or lymph fluid that circulates in our body. In our body, 5 to 6 liters of blood is pumped from the heart and returns to the heart after about 20 to 30 seconds. Blood carries oxygen throughout the body, attacks viruses, bacteria, cancer, etc., heals wounds, and transports substances such as hormones and drugs to tissues throughout the body. Immune cells include ‘white blood cells’ that can directly attack foreign substances and bacteria, such as ‘NK cells(Natural Killer Cells)’, ‘T cells’, and ‘B cells’, and ‘dendritic cells’ that can give attack instructions to these lymphocytes.

Immune cells are sometimes called white blood cells or leukocytes.

Clearly, immune cells do not belong to stem cells. This is because immune cells do not have the multipotency and pluripotency.

What does each immune cell do?

The function and types of main immune cells

A group of cells that play a role in immune function, and have functions such as eating pathogens, weakening them so they can’t move, and killing their own cells that are infected with pathogens.

NK Cell (Natural Killer Cell)

NK cells are always patrolling the body. When NK cells find a virus, bacteria, or infected cell, they attack the invaders alone. Unlike T cells, they are called natural killers because they can attack external enemies or foreign substances on their own without instructions from other cells.

T-Cell

T cells find and eliminate cells infected with viruses. They receive antigen information from dendritic cells or macrophages and directly destroy abnormal cells.

B-Cell

B cells are immune cells that exist in the bone marrow and produce antibodies. When dendritic cells made from blood-forming cells (hematopoietic stem cells) receive instructions, they create ‘antibodies’ that attack external enemies or foreign substances and help remove foreign substances. B cells produce a set number of antibodies for each cell.

Dendritic cells

Dendritic cells

Dendritic cells are cells that mainly exist in the nasal cavity, lungs, stomach, intestines, and skin that come into contact with the outside air. As the name suggests, branch-like protrusions extend around it. Dendritic cells have the function of retaining foreign substances within themselves and transmitting their characteristics (antigens) to other immune cells.

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The army that defends your body, immunity

What is immunity?

Our bodies possess the immune strength we were born with. This can be thought of as a sort of defense force that hunts down and expels foreign matter from our bodies. If this strength decreases, it shouldn’t be surprising that we become susceptible to a variety of infirmities that threaten our health, ranging from colds and influenza, to more serious infections and even cancer.

What happens to us when our immunity is low?

Importance of Immunity

1. Immune cell activity by age

The immune system is completed by the age of fifteen, and immunity begins to decline at the age of twenty.

Immune cell activity by age

2. Decreased immunity is the cause of all diseases.

The onset of disease is caused by a decrease in immunity caused by aging, lifestyle, environment and stress.
When the immune balance falls and the defense system is compromised, it is easily infected, the thymus becomes smaller and leads to chronic infection. If our body cannot overcome it, it leads to chronic diseases ((Diabetes, Arteriosclerosis(hardening of the arteries), Alzheimer’s, Sarcopenia, etc) including cancer.

stage of disease development
Low immunity also increases the risk of disease.

NK cell Activity and Cancer Risk

The Saitama Cancer Center has provided the world’s first proof that there is a relationship between individual differences in immune strength and the risk of cancer. The Center conducted an 11-year follow-up study where the degrees of patient NK cell activity (“NK activity” refers to the capacity of NK cells to kill cancer cells within a 4-hour period) were split up into 3 groups: high, moderate, and low. The results of this study showed that patients in the group with low NK activity had 1.7x the incidence of cancer compared to the other groups. In other words, if a person’s NK cells are in an active and healthy state, it will not only decrease the likelihood that they develop colds or influenza, but will also lower the risk of cancer or more serious infections.

The incidence of cancer over time

In other words, if a person’s NK cells are in an active and healthy state, it will not only decrease the likelihood that they develop colds or influenza, but will also lower the risk of cancer or more serious infections.
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※Reference :

  • Activity of Immune cell as Ageing : Naito Medical Clinic in Japan
  • AllStemCells.com>immunity>importance-of-immunity
  • Created based on information from Imai et al., 2000, and partially revised
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