Organization of the Immune System

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The human immune system has sites of production, bone marrow and thymus, and sites of differentiation and proliferation, lymph nodes and spleen. Immune organization also occurs in the lung, gastrointestinal tract, skin and adipose tissues. Cells or their products can be tissue bound or move to sites during infection via the blood or lymphatics. Pluripotent stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to progenitors that differentiate into lymphoid and myeloid cells as well as red blood cells and platelets. Myeloid cells include neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils with functions in innate immune responses and monocytes and macrophages and dendritic cells, which are phagocytic and act as an interface with cells of the acquired immune system. Lymphocytes include antigen specific cells with DNA rearranged receptors, T cells and B cells, as well as cells termed innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) which can be cytotoxic (natural killer cells) or non-cytotoxic with functions that mirror classical T cell functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical Immunology
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice, Sixth Edition
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780702081651
ISBN (Print)9780702081668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Cluster of differentiation markers
  • cytokines
  • hematopoietic stem cells
  • lymphopoiesis
  • mucosal immune system
  • primary lymphoid organ
  • secondary lymphoid organ
  • systemic immune system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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