The importance of T and B cells in our body, and how to acquire them

T cells
Antibodies T cells, attacking the coronavirus. Credits: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC)T-cells

A fully functional immune system is essential for self-preservation and is a key to easily recognize, target, and kill foreign bodies or antigens that invade our body at a high risk.

An immune system that remains healthy, has a highly aggressive ability to recognize sense over nonsense intruders, and is capable to respond vigorously to the initial encounter with a pathogenic antigen that does not belong in the system.

“In a normal functioning environment, your body’s T cells recognize a bacterium or a virus, and guide the other cells to attack the pathogen,” said Dr. Alan Skarbnik, associate in cell therapy transplant program at Novant Health Cancer Institute. “One of the ways that any virus grows in a person’s body is because it creates mechanisms to escape from the person’s immune system.”

What are T cells?

According to a Mayo Clinic report, T cells are organisms that reside within our body and are immune, whose main purpose is to identify and subsequently kill pathogens that been ingested, from invasive way in our immune system.

They do this by employing so many proteins on their surface that most of their activation can attach to proteins on the very surface of these imposters that are abundant in the patient’s blood.

For each T cell is unique and highly specific with its purpose of attacking the unknown, and so are trillions of possible variations of these surface proteins, and each one can recognize a different target, the report says.

The institution that focuses on comprehensive medical care, education and research, diagnose that T cells can remain in the blood for years after an infection. This is because they contribute to a long-term memory of the immune system, which allows mounting a faster and more effective response when it is exposed to an old enemy in the future.

By the end of the day, lymphocytes become B cells, in other words, presenting APC cells, that constitute an immune system that adapts and responds to immune challenges, such as foreign microorganisms. The B lymphocytes do the most part from the bone marrow and mature through several sequential and programmed steps.

Mayo Clinic says that hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow mature into pro-B cells, pre-B cells, and then immature B cells. These cells enter the blood as transitional B cells and migrate to secondary lymphoid organs.

Other B cells, that are exposed to antigens, require the help of T cells, which is usually a structure called the germinal center, where B cells expressing higher affinity antibodies are select and expand around.

Thus, germinal center B-cell products produce soluble antibodies that react with the activating antigen, whereas memory B cells carry membrane-bound antibodies and are primed to mount a rapid and effective response to antigen exposure, based on that report.

But how can human beings acquire a strong and resistant immune system to fight any antigen such as COVID-19 and other pathogens that could enter our body? The answer to this important question is the acquisition of “T” and “B” cells.

According to Raiza Shipin, a dietitian of the Nevada Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, human beings have the keys to strengthen their own immune system, by following proper nutrition to create cells that defend us against enemies such as COVID-19.

“Usually you have to consume several servings of these foods that are like seafood, especially salmon because of its high zinc content, and we can accompany it with garlic as it helps fight fungi, viruses, bacteria and more,” Shippin said. “We should also eat cereals which have a lot of vitamin B, essential for generating lymphocytes, and not forgetting yogurt, which is a probiotic dairy that produces good bacteria that are responsible for clearing infections.”

Although, the nutritionist also highlighted the need to always be consuming citrus fruits, responsible for vitamin C, which is important for the formation of proteins.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy immune system, visit mayoclinc.org or see your doctor and then a nutritionist.

Last updated on April 21, 2022 by Ramón Warini

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Ramón Warini

My name is Ramón, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies, concentrating in Audio/Podcasting at University of Nevada Las Vegas. This is going to be my second educational goal, as I possess an associate degree of applied science in Multimedia Graphic Authoring, earned from the College of Southern Nevada in 2012. Thus, by the end of my journey at UNLV, I will become a multimedia journalist.