Chapter: Immunology

Dendritic Cell Cartoon Immunology

Dendritic cells (DCs) are named after their branched projections called dendrites. These cells are the sentinels of the immune system and are always testing their surroundings in case they see any danger. DCs process antigens they pick up from their surrounding and present these to T cells.

 


 

This video shows how dendritic cells growing in culture are transfected with a plasmid containing a gene for the Green fluorescent protein (GFP).

Transfection is the process of deliberately introducing nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells. Various methods can be used to transfect. Electroporation, shown in this video, is a technique by which an externally applied electrical field applied to the cells makes the plasma membrane of a cell temporarily porous so that molecules such as DNA can pass freely through it.

Once the DNA is inside the cells the genes in this DNA molecule can be “read” by the cell machinery and made into proteins. In this example the molecule DNA entered the cell has information to produce the green fluorescent protein GFP. Therefore the cells that have taken in the DNA can now make GFP and glow green.

More information on
transfection and electroporation
Dendritic cells
GFP

 

 

CD8 CTL Killer T Cell Cartoon

T cells are named after the organ they develop in, the Thymus.

Cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) are a special type of T cells with the ability to kill other cells. Usually they kill cells that have been infected with a virus. This way the virus can no longer use these cells for replicating inside of them. CTLs secrete cytotoxins to kill the other cells and are therefore called “cytotoxic” T cells.

B cell Cartoon antibodies white background

Antibody producers

B cells in the human body develop in the bone marrow and are therefore called B cells. These cells are responsible for producing antibodies. The antibodies produced by B cells circulate around our body and bind to specific viruses or bacteria to neutralize them and help get them killed by other cells of the immune system.

Immune Cell Cartoons Macrophage, Dendritic Cell, T Cells and B Cell

I hope you enjoy these cartoons and please feel free to use them in your presentation. A cartoon may provide some entertainment to your audience and also help you get a point across. Just make sure to reference this page so that others know where to find the cartoons.

Enjoy!