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Lesson Flashcards: Primary and Secondary Immune Responses Biology

Clonal expansion

The production of daughter cells all arising from a single parent cell that occurs during a humoral immune response

T cells

Lymphocytes that mature in the thymus and function in the adaptive immunity

Plasma cell

A type of immune cell that makes large amounts of a specific antibody

Effector cells

The category of cells in which active immune cells such as B cells, helper T cells, and cytotoxic T cells fall

Autoimmune disorders

Disorders in which the immune system attacks the healthy cells of the body because immune cells bind to self-antigens


A reaction to injury or infection in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, painful, and hot

Phagocytic cells

A type of immune cells that are able to ingest and often digest foreign particles including pathogens

Secondary immune response

An immune response that memory immune cells enable to occur rapidly after a second exposure to an antigen

Nonspecific immunity (innate immunity)

Immunity you are born with that protects you against all pathogens in the same way

Innate (nonspecific) immunity

Immunity you are born with

Secondary immune response

An immune response that is rapid and sustained due to the action of memory immune cells

Antibody (immunoglobulin, Ig)

A globular protein produced by B lymphocytes that is adapted to bind with a specific antigen


Substances that can trigger an immune response

Cytotoxic T cell

A type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus

Primary immune response

The immune response due to the first exposure to an antigen and results in the generation of memory immune cells

B cells

Lymphocytes that mature in bone marrow and can secrete antibodies

Suppressor T cells (T suppressor cells, regulatory T cells)

Immune cells that can inhibit the activity of other immune cells

Clonal selection

The process by which T cells and B cells with receptors that bond with specific antigens are selected to multiply and proliferate

Specific immunity

Immunity that develops over time as a result of exposure to different pathogens and that is an antigen-specific response


A harmless antigen of a harmful pathogen that triggers a primary immune response such that memory cells for this antigen are formed

Cell-mediated immunity

The part of the adaptive immune response that involves cytotoxic T cells targeting infected cells, cancer cells, or foreign cells

Humoral immunity

The part of the specific immune response in humans that involves antibodies targeting extracellular antigens in plasma and body fluids

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