Talk:Immune system

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Article clean up and expansion[edit]

As I promised above, I have cleaned up this article (a lot). I expanded some sections that needed it, and removed some information appeared to be copy-and-pasted from the "main articles" on various subjects.

This article DOES need some pictures, I think some of the sections are just too complicated to explain without diagrams. I will see if I can find some, or else just make them. Specifically, I think that diagrams for the following sections would help emmensly:

  • Antigen presentation
  • CD8 and CD4 Activation
  • Th1 vs Th2
  • B cell Activation

Also it would be nice if we could include pictures of the various types of innate cells.

If anyone sees/has/can make any of these please post 'em!!--DO11.10 22:34, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Flow of information[edit]

As this article is about the immune system, and "the skin is the first line of difense", wouldn't it make sense to start off with the skin section? Nothing in the skin section depends on the information in the lymph section, so I think the lymph section should be either removed or deleted. E946 07:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Hypersensitivity section[edit]

"These reactions are mediated by T cells, monocytes and macrophages." Monocytes and macrophages are the same thing, they're called monocytes when they're in the blood, macrophages when they're in certain tissues, pulmonary macrophages in the lung, Langerhans cells in skin, Kupfer cells in the liver etc. Therefore, it should not be listed twice as both monocytes and macrophages.--KX36 17:47, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

removal of "diabetes link"[edit]

I removed the following from the article for a number of reasons:

In December 2006 researchers from Toronto Hospital for Sick Children showed in mice a link between Type 1 diabetes and both the Immune and Nervous systems. Lack of sensory (pain-related) nerves seemed to provoke an immune response in the insulin-producing cells.[1]

Reasons for removal:

  1. This is about one article about one aspect of one autoimmune disease (which are given only brief mention in this article, owing to the existence of the article autoimmunity where specifics are addressed), and it's inclusion here places undue weight on the findings.
  2. The addition, as written, seems to imply that a link between the Immune system and T1D was established just last week, when in reality this connection was made many, many years ago (IIRC in the early 1970's). Really the authors show a link between a neuronal receptor and the development of diabetes, they don't really say (at least in the abstract) how the immune system is involved.

As a note: The actual Cell article seems to state a conclusion that is exactly opposite of what was added. Namely that "...Eliminating these neurons in diabetes-prone NOD mice prevents insulitis and diabetes, despite systemic persistence of pathogenic T cell pools." i.e. "Lack of sensory (pain-related) nerves seemed to prevent an immune response in the insulin-producing cells".--DO11.10 23:06, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Too narrow[edit]

This article is either too narrow or should acknowledge that it isn't all-encompassing. It doesn't mention that it is only talking about humans, and the second paragraph says that it defends us against bacteria and viruses, when in fact is also fights protists, fungi, and possibly animals (I'm not sure-- can we fight worms?) 00:08, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

One gets specifically an elevation in the eosinophil subtype of white blood cell with parasitic or worm infestations. Not sure it actual acheives much though David Ruben Talk 01:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Chg section heading[edit]

It's not optimal to have a section heading called "Overview" - unencyclopedic - can that section be re-named, or the content be merged to section names more in line with those mentioned at WP:MEDMOS ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Section renamed. TimVickers 01:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Cellular barriers?[edit]

Not sure this last paragraph belongs under this subheading - maybe a separate subheading for immune evasion is needed??

The barriers established by innate immune system are brought into play at the earliest stages of infection and provide immediate defense against colonization. Many pathogens, however, have developed strategies that allow them to elude or escape from innate immune control.[29] These evasion strategies include intracellular replication, such as in Salmonella or a protective capsule that prevents lysis by complement, as in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.[30]

Ciar 01:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Lympho/Leukocytes and an extra![edit]

I have never been known for there to be a difference between these too terms, and I have always used them interchangeably. This article is states that lymphocytes are only involved in specific immunity and leukocytes are only involved in innate immunity - but is this right? The article for leukocytes isn't clear about this either. I would all white blood cells to be leukocytes (by at least name sake only) - There two big classes for these cells is between the myeloid lineage and the lymphoid lineage - these are closer to the innate:specific separation, respectivly, but I wouldn't be so happy to accept a that separation as black and white. For instance there are dendritic cells in both lineages (these are potent members of specific immunity), natural killer cells are lympoid but are involvedwith innate immunity and mast cells are myeloid but are mediated specifically by IgE molecules (I think these would be categorized as specific immunity, its all semantics!). And one last thing! In the same section it states that only jawed vertebrae have a specific immune system - but there was an interesting article in Nature (sorry I don't have the citation) that showed that Lampreys have a special type on immune system that is not related to mammalian antibodies and such; this is something that might be interesting to note. So I hope this rambling helps, I'm gonna keep reading the article! Adenosinetalk 06:14, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

The word lymphocyte refers to only the small white blood cells with the large round nucleus, and includes NK cells, T cells and B cells. The word leukocyte, however, includes all the white blood cells - all lymphocytes are leukocytes, but not all leukocytes are lymphocytes!
Oh yeah, and I agree with the inclusion of the agnathan VLR molecules (Key authors = Pancer and Cooper) although they haven't been functionally characterized yet - maybe just a wee mention?Ciar 07:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Immune system and tumors[edit]

This article is mainly focussing on the elimination of foreign pathogens, but doesn't really mention the other role the immune system plays, in keeping mutated/tumor cells at bay. Anyway of including this without it being too confusing? Ciar 22:18, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Although the subject could have a lengthy page of its own, here is a nice simple bit about tumor antigens that we could model without getting to complicated? What are your thoughts on including a bit about antigen receptor diversity/generation? There is a bit about this in the adaptive immune system article, but I don't know if it complicates things too much.--DO11.10 17:00, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I added a little info about the tumor regulation. Hoping some fresh eyes will take a look and get it to meet the standard of the rest of the article. Then, I thought about how to simply describe the complex processes of generating antigen receptor diversity. What about something along the lines.....

"During the maturation processes of T and B cells, they rearrange and randomly construct the genes for their antigen receptors so that each distinct cell generates its own unique receptor. This is how the populations of B and T cells possess a wide array of receptors capable of recognizing many different pathogens." you think it makes any sense to anyone without an immunology background?? Ciar 02:51, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably not, it maybe that that concept is just too complex for this article, and I have tried out several "simple" ways of explaining it in my head, it always comes out sounding too "science geeky". The concept is covered in the adaptive article though.
I have done a bit of copy edit on the tumor section (sorry 'bout the edit conflict Tim). I have a question though. Did you mean to put:

"One example is an enzyme called tyrosinase that, when overexpressed, transforms certain skin cells (e.g. melanocytes) into tumors called melanomas. [77][78]"

.... before the "altered self" bit, or am I reading something wrong?--DO11.10 03:40, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Yep, the tyrosine example belongs with the overexpression/elavated expression part, not the "altered self" part. Thanks to you and Tim for taking a look and improving the section! Ciar 04:28, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
there....moved it to where it should be! Ciar 04:33, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Hormonal regulation of the immune system?[edit]

Hi all, the article is looking pretty good already — well done, all!

I'm pretty sure that the immune system responds to hormonal signals, and it'd be nice if there were some discussion of that in the article. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sick now and don't have access to a library anyway, so I can't help out too much. :( But I do recall that there can be direct effects on the immune system and indirect effects, e.g., by changing the relative microbial populations in the vaginal tract.

Good luck, Willow 22:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Cell markers[edit]

Okay, so I removed the term 'markers' from the phrase 'MHC markers' and replaced it with the conventional 'MHC molecules'. In cell biology, scientists use the term marker to describe a protein expressed on the surface of a cell that can be used to help distinguish that particular cell. This is because each different type of cell carries a distinct combination of cell surface proteins - these are often receptors, and often denoted with a CD prefix. Here's a common example; within the T cells, there are helper and cytotoxic subtypes. They function differently, and they can be distinguished from other lymphocytes and each other based on their cell surface molecules or markers. All T cells can be recognized by a marker called CD3 (part of the TCR complex) that is only expressed on T cells; all helper T cells have CD3 and CD4 markers, and all cytotoxic T cells have CD3 and CD8 markers. It can get more complex, but hopefully this explains things simply. MHC molecules are not typically used as markers. MHC class I molecules, for instance, tend to be expressed on all cell types so would be a poor candidate for cell recognition! Phew...hope this is of help!!! Ciar 04:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Yep, you are right. I probably put that in there because I use MHC class I and II as "markers", (generally to determine/confirm DC maturation state, in conjunction with other, more specific "markers") and thus that is how I think of them. Thanks for your careful reading, good catch.--DO11.10 22:30, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Vaginal yeast infection[edit]

Nice article. Now for the nit-picking. In the discussion of "vaginal yeast infection", the claim, "Re-introduction of probiotic flora, such as lactobacilli found in yoghurt, can help to restore a healthy balance of microbial populations." [1] is not supported by either of the 2 sources: (1) Hill L, Embil J (1986). "Vaginitis: current microbiologic and clinical concepts." CMAJ 134 (4): 321-31. [PMID 3510698] or (2) Salminen S, Gueimonde M, Isolauri E (2005). "Probiotics that modify disease risk". J Nutr 135 (5): 1294 – 8. PMID 15867327. [2] as far as I could see. I'd love to know that it's true. Is there a good source for it? If not, should it be deleted? Or should it be noted that this plausable treatment cannot be supported by the literature? Nbauman 06:03, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

This also falls to me, since I think I may have written that section as well. Not my day, I suppose. :(
Upon closer study, you are quite right about the two sources, which do support their statements separately (one clarifies "vaginal infections", the other highlights the benefits of introducing probiotics) but not together (no obvious support for the claim that probiotics reduce vaginal infections). Here are some other sources, though; why don't you consider which of these might be good to introduce into the article? Willow 11:41, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Reid, G; Burton J, Devillard E (2004). "The Rationale for Probiotics in Female Urogenital Healthcare". Medcape General Medicine 6: 49. PMID 15208560. 
  • Reid, G; Jass J, Sebulsky MT, McCormick JK (2003). "Potential Uses of Probiotics in Clinical Practice". Clinical Microbiology Reviews 16: 658–672. PMID 14557292. 
  • Hilton, E; Isenberg HD, Alperstein P, France K, Borenstein MT (1992). "Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis". Annals of Internal Medicine 116: 353–357. PMID 1736766. 
Well, for starters, the PMID is:
  • Reid, G; Burton J, Devillard E (2004). "The Rationale for Probiotics in Female Urogenital Healthcare". Medcape General Medicine 6: 49. PMID [PMID 15208560]. 
I'll have to go back and read that later. Nbauman 16:58, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Here's Reid. He doesn't say that yogurt is useful. He talks about other probiotics. Intravaginal instillation of lactobacilli for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections.Nbauman 21:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The middle one is a nice summary; it cites a 1995 study by Reid and coworkers showing that yogurt is as effective as antibiotics against urinary tract infections, which at least shows the probiotic effect in vivo. There are also several in vitro studies showing the effectiveness of various strains of Lactobacilli, although I don't believe that they identified the antibiotic mechanism(s). Willow 17:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You mean Reid, G., A, W. Bruce, and M. Taylor. 1995. Instillation of Lactobacillus and stimulation of indigenous organisms to prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections. Microecol. Ther. 23:32-45. [PMID 1576619]? Where does he mention yoghurt? He's talking about lactobacilli, but not the lactobacilli found in yoghurt. I don't think there's any support for the claim that "lactobacilli found in yoghurt, are thought to help restore a healthy balance of microbial populations," and now that I've read those articles, I'm even more convinced. I think it should be deleted until someone can cite evidence. Nbauman 21:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the Hilton et al. clinical trial given in the reference list above is sufficient for inclusion of this section in the article. TimVickers 22:14, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, but that's 1992. Has anybody replicated it? Nbauman 22:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
In light of your skepticism I have changed the sentence on yoghurt from "thought to" to "may". I hope this change and the extensive list of references above deal with your concern. TimVickers 22:45, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Of the extensive list of references, there is only one study that reports efficacy of yoghurt, and that one is from 1992. If it works, I would have expected someone to replicate such a cheap and easy study in 15 years. (If not, I wish someone would.) "May" is a weasel word. Any speculative, unproven treatment with a plausable mechanism "may" work. Does it work or doesn't it? More precisely, what is the strength of the evidence? The strength is: one study that hasn't been replicated. That's evidence, but weak evidence. I think the article should say that.
There seems to be reasonable evidence, in the form of repeated randomized controlled studies, that introduction of probiotics can restore a healthy flora, which I think is interesting.
It's wrong to combine probiotics, which has the strong evidence of repeated studies, with yoghurt, which has the weak evidence of one unreplicated study, by saying that they both "may" restore a healthy balance. One apparently does, and one may (or may not).
I think the probiotics discussion is interesting and important, but it has to be phrased more precisely. Maybe you could say, "several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of probiotics for restoring normal flora, and one study has even demonstrated the effectiveness of yoghurt." Nbauman 20:05, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I have read the 2003 Reid review above and incorporated it into a new version. "However, since most antibiotics non-specifically target bacteria and do not affect fungi, oral antibiotics can lead to an “overgrowth” of fungi and cause conditions such as a vaginal candidiasis (yeast infection).[13] There is good evidence that re-introduction of probiotic flora, such as cultures of the lactobacilli normally found in yoghurt, helps restore a healthy balance of microbial populations in intestinal infections in children and encouraging preliminary data in studies on bacterial gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, urinary tract infection and post-surgical infections.[14][15]" TimVickers 02:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Tim, I just read [14] and [15] and I can't find anything in them that supports the use of the lactobacilli cultures found in yoghurt. They refer to different lactobacilli cultures. You can say that yoghurt cultures are lactobacilli, and you can say that reintroduction of lactobacilli cultures can restore healthy microbial populations, but based on the evidence of those 2 citations, you can't say that yoghurt cultures will restore healthy populations.
I may be missing something here. Can you find the text that supports the use of yoghurt cultures, and quote it for me?
They only cited one study of yoghurt, as I recall, and they said that one was flawed. Nbauman 06:01, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The text says "...cultures of the lactobacilli normally found in yoghurt,..." which is the same as saying "...cultures of the E coli normally found in sewage,..." this does not refer to yoghurt, if refers to pure cultures of the lactobacilli normally found in such products as yoghurt. If I'd meant yoghurt, I'd have just written yoghurt. Do you find this phrase ambiguous? I've added the word "pure" to try to remove this possible ambiguity. The text now reads "...pure cultures of the lactobacilli normally found in yoghurt,..." TimVickers 17:30, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Tim, are L. rhamnosus strain GG and B. lactis Bb12 used in yoghurt making? The articles don't say so. Can you find a reliable, citable source that says so, and isn't an anonymous or sales site? Nbauman 01:48, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Here's one. Joint effort: bacteria in yogurt combat arthritis in rats, Science News, August 14, 2004 by B. Harder Nbauman 02:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Great, add away. Here is a paper describing which species are found in yoghurt, and specifically mentioning Bifidobacterium spp. and L. rhamnosus. TimVickers 02:13, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


I can see why some people would vandalize Bush's article or Hitler's or sept 11 conspiracies... But why this one? It doesn't make sense.... --Carbonrodney 07:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Because it's featured on the main page. =) Berserkerz Crit 08:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Some one please change the {{sprotected}} to {{sprotected2}} template. It really hurts my eyes :(-- 12:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Mine, too. :( But I think {{sprotected2}} is meant only for pages that are protected long-term, which is not the case here. The explanation at the top of the page also helps newcomers understand why they can't edit the page. Disappointing, I know. Willow 13:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Dumb statements[edit]

Sorry to see this passed muster as a feature article when it has these glaring weaknesses: "pathogens, which constantly evolve new ways to avoid detection by the immune system and successfully infect the host organism." and "To meet this challenge, several mechanisms have evolved to recognize and neutralize pathogens."

Since when do pathogens and the immune system have brains, motivation, and make choices on how and why to evolve?

I don't want to fix this myself right now, because I'm very tired and in pain, but here's a suggestion for someone with all their wits to consider:

"pathogens, which constantly evolve and produce some variations that avoid detection by the immune system and successfully infect the host organism."

"However, the immune system also evolves and produces variations that recognize and neutralize new types of pathogens."

<whine>Anthropomorphic language on articles that are supposed to be scientific doesn't make a very good impression. Who approved this stinker as a featured article, and if this doesn't violate a wiki standard, then wiki needs a new standard...</whine> —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jdlambert (talkcontribs) 08:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

I agree: this needs to be addressed ASAP.--345Kai 09:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I think I may have written those sentences, so perhaps it falls to me to defend them. :( Before I do that, however, please allow me to suggest that you soften your tone in future criticisms; being in pain yourself, you ought to be more gentle towards well-meaning but imperfect editors.
I understand your concerns that the sentences might appear to some people as teleological or as suggesting volition by the pathogens/immune system, but I believe that most reasonable people will not read them in that way. Perhaps my belief is incorrect, given the surprising number of people who don't believe in evolution. However, to my mind, that is a fight one should fight elsewhere. Our mission here is to convey the essential properties of the immune system, and those two sections do that.
The criteria for FA also require that the article be "well-written", which to my mind means that the article should have a lively "flow" and engage multiple types of readers, not merely those with scientific training. Wikipedia is not a textbook for graduate students; rather, our ambition is to reach a much broader community of people. If the article engages our readers with a faint whiff of anthropomorphism, that's better than drab, overly qualified prose that makes them stop reading, prose that confuses more than it enlightens. Ideally, we would have both: sparkling and scrupulously correct prose that both lay-people and professors can love. Perhaps someone from WP:MCB will take up the gage and the challenge? Willow 11:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Willow, I apologize for the demeaning things I said and the way I said them. It was more of a rant than an objective comment (ironic, since I was requesting more a objective view in the article). The article is indeed very well written and earned its featured status.

However, while you make a good argument for anthropomorphism over dry, I think there's a middle ground that would improve the accuracy without harming the readability, and I think that it would be especially worthwhile to maximize accuracy regarding the topic of evolution, with all its baggage. (For discussions regarding that topic, I suggest we distinguish micro-evolution and macro-evolution. The former involves changes such as described in this article, and are in little dispute, while all the controversy seems to surround the latter, which is primarily the concept of evolution-of-species.)

While I would like to see this article improve in regards to the accuracy of these statements, and 345Kai has voiced agreement, I acknowledge that this isn't urgent because no one is likely to actually impute volition to the pathogens or immune system because of how these statements are phrased. And my preferences shouldn't carry too much weight here, since I don't spend enough time editing Wikipedia myself, so I'd like to hear what others think of this issue before my suggestion is followed. JD Lambert 15:47, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your very kind apology, and even more for your kind concern for the quality of the article; I hope that you will always be forthright when it comes to improving Wikipedia! :)
I also agree with you that there's a good middle ground we should strive towards, that promised land of "sparkling and scrupulously correct prose that both lay-people and professors can love". I know that I'm unfortunately prone to anthropomorphisms, since I can't help but see the world through that prism; I'm a better story-teller than scientist. Luckily, I can rely on my smart, smart friends to note and fix my shortcomings. :) Thanks again, Willow 16:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the dumb statements are mine. I have changed "To meet this challenge, several mechanisms have evolved to recognize and neutralize pathogens." into the neutral "To meet this challenge, several mechanisms have evolved that recognize and neutralize pathogens." However, I think "pathogens, which constantly evolve new ways to avoid detection by the immune system and successfully infect the host organism." is correct, as the function of these adaptations is to avoid detection and aid infection. Compare this with a sentence from a recent review in Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology "Because most of these pathways end in lysosomes, an organelle that is capable of killing microorganisms, pathogens have developed remarkable means to avoid interactions with this lytic organelle." TimVickers 17:16, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem with anthropomorphizing evolution (and I confess I do it in myself in everyday speech) is that it gives a poor view of how evolution occurs, and in my view can actually help lead people down the creationism (etc.) path. It implies that an organism directs itself to evolve, rather than that evolution is shaped by chance, mutation, environmental pressures and other natural selectors. That concept of direction may be one thing that rubs the religious right the wrong way. In any case, while I understand the desire to write an interesting article, I think it behooves a resource such as Wikipedia (and better serves evolution) to give people a better understanding of how evolution works than to anthropomorphize; we see so much of it elsewhere. - Rapscallion 19:08, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

- er... the author is right in saying; "pathogens, which constantly evolve new ways to avoid detection by the immune system and successfully infect the host organism." and "To meet this challenge, several mechanisms have evolved to recognize and neutralize pathogens." eg. neutrophil. Now for ease of understanding lets make it a local skin cut and infection...Inflammation sequence initiated by cell damage and bacterial colonization, the local white cells sitting in the blood vessels must be constantly 'sniffing' for abnormality as once it detects inflammatory chemicals they migrate to the source denoting an intelligent function. Otherwise it should go beserk right there and then damaging normal tissue and if common reasoning is followed then the local infection progressively becomes an all enveloping inflammation... just think about it... there is a grade of active intelligence involved applied to their specific purpose for reason to exist, and so it follows that the same applies to the invading cell including bacteria...

I think its an excellent example of knowledge imparted with street smart excellence for the wide audience understanding and for those who want to learn more can do so from other sources...—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:25, 1 March 2007


Although I tend to think that the title ("Dumb statements") of this section is a bit too harsh, let me pile on with another example: tumor cells "use" the mechanism of reducing the number of [something? MH?] receptors on their surface "in order to avoid" attack by the immune system. I've already taken out "in order" because I think it's unnecessary after a verb ("used") that clearly indicates that a purpose is involved. It seems to me that it may be the other way around; the cell has too few MH receptors for some random reason (mutation?) and *that* caused the cell to be *characterized* as "tumor-ous" or cancerous. Etc. I will defer making a change to the sense of the sentence for the time being.

I think this is an extremely informative article, and I disagree with the sentiment that these weaknesses weaken its claim to featured status. Although I admit I am a relative newbie. I have seen many many many much worse articles, is all I'm saying. Jlaramee 19:19, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

You people need to get a life and stop talking like Yale English professors. I was as stupid/smart as you once and that was boring, and now i have fun :) little friendly advice is all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

First, I would appreciate it if this discussion section were not entitled "Dumb Statements," but rather "anthropomorphism of scientific concepts," or more generally, "metaphorical language used in place of literal scientific description." I would appreciate the title change because I suggest that this is an important topic not only in the evolution discussion, but particularly here in the description of immune system processes. If the issue is "significant" enough, it might merit a link to semantics, linguistics, and/or epistemology within an appropriate part of the article.
Second, could there be, if this questionable or "dumb" language stays in, a link, or a specific discussion section on how a good deal of the description of the immune system for lay readers (not just on Wikipedia) employs such anthropomorphic language, and specifically, the language of epistemology (from the article: "Detection is complicated as...," "mechanisms... that recognize," "immunological memory," to name a few significant examples). Here is one bibliography of works discussing the metaphor and science issue:
And not really related the main article, but in response to the above 14 April comment: (a) Yale Engish professors are pretty cool, and (b) your view of intellectual reflection is, just, like your opinion, man. Cslhaus (talk) 01:56, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Is the new version any better? Tim Vickers (talk) 16:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

One Thing[edit]

Good article it entertained and informed me. There is one thing I noticed though. When CD8 was discussed as a co-receptor for MHC I receptors. That is in correct, CD8 is not a co-receptor (such as B7/CD28 complex) but is a co-stimulator (ie. CD3 complex). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

While CD8 does indeed enhance stimulation of the T-cell, I think that the proper terminology is still "co-receptor". Here is what Janeway's Immunobiology (Part II, Chapter 3) says: "CD8 binds MHC class I molecules and can bind simultaneously to the same class I MHC:peptide complex being recognized by a T-cell receptor, thus acting as a co-receptor and enhancing the T-cell response."--DO11.10 17:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the sentence should read "Recognition of this MHC:antigen complex is aided by a co-receptor on the T cell, called CD8, [which also helps to activate the T cell]."--DO11.10 17:08, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi! Just noticed the query and thought I'd add a little to help! Couldn't help but notice you describe, in the question, CD28 as a co-receptor and CD8 as co-stimulator - but I think you may have mixed these up. As DO11.10 correctly points out, CD8 is a co-receptor since it aids the T cell receptor in its interaction with MHC, while CD28 is a co-stimulatory molecule that provides a separate secondary signal to the T cell by interacting with the B7 molecules on the surface of the antigen presenting cell. Ciar 20:58, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

It seems that the page has been vandalized, there's a bunch of words dispersed throughout the text that are out of place or offensive. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nimrod88 (talkcontribs) 16:09, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

Great article![edit]

I wanted to thank the authors of this article. It is informative, well written and just brilliant. Thank you. -- 20:48, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Great article! Phrase this statement better[edit]

This statement occurs at the biginning of the section 7, "Other Mechanisms" I think the and just makes it confusing. I don't know if I am interpreting the statement correctly. Someone a little more knowledgeable should make the official correction.

It is likely that a multicomponent, adaptive immune system arose with the first vertebrates, and other species do not generate lymphocytes or an antibody-based humoral response.

I would change it simply to:

It is likely that a multicomponent, adaptive immune system arose with the first vertebrates. Other species do not generate lymphocytes or an antibody-based humoral response.

Or even this:

It is likely that a multicomponent, adaptive immune system arose with the first vertebrates. Non-vertebrates do not generate lymphocytes or an antibody-based humoral response.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:38, 1 March 2007

This article within the scope of the WikiProjects Systems[edit]

Hi, I have put this article under the scope of the WikiProject Systems because of the formal relation, but more because of the inspiring and motivating example this article can give our project and it's participants (to come). We are still a small and beginning group, and working to get our own toko going. In due time I hope we can also deliver a valuable contributions here from our point of view. In the mean time I wish all of you all te best. Best regards - Mdd 20:23, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Nutritional immunology[edit]

Nutritional immunology is an emerging field in the nutritional sciences that studies the effects of dietary ingredients on the immune system. Many ingredients in the diet may affect the immune system. Among the most notable discoveries in this field is a recent one made by scientists at the University of California at Berkeley about Diindolylmethane (DIM) in Brassica vegetables. DIM has been shown to induce Interferon-Gamma Receptor expression, Interferon-Gamma production and synergize with Interferon-Gamma in the expression of the MHC-I complex. For years nutritional scientists had noted that individuals who consume Brassica vegetables have a significantly lower risk of cancer than the average population. This discovery regarding DIM's immune modulating activity helps to shed light on this phenomenon and has led to the investigation of this compound as a therapeutic for viral and bacterial infections and multiple forms of cancer. What appears notable from a biomedical research point of view is the potential of DIM as an adjuvant to Interferon-Gamma therapeutic models given its synergy with IFN-G in the expression of the MHC-I complex. More information regarding DIM and its immune modulating properties as a dietary ingredient is available at: The Diindolylmethane Information Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

I've removed this section to the talk page while we verify if this is true or not. The link to an external commercial site [3] makes it possible that this is spam. TimVickers 16:38, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

anatomy wikiproject[edit]

Does this article belong to be a part of the anatomy wikiproject? I added the cardio (arteries,veins), digestive(gut,stomach), endocrine(hormones and glands) systems in the anatomy wikiproject as i thought they belong (if you think otherwise dont hesistate to change them).... but as i approached this article it seemed a bit wrong to make this article a part of anatomy wikiproject..Any thoughts?...(Ps.. im working my way to add obvious anatomy articles into the anatomy wikiproject and i found a easy way to add them through the Human anatomy article (big lists at the very bottom) )calaka 07:10, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes this article belongs under anatomy because there are specialized organs (thymus, spleen, adrenal cortex, lymph nodes) and cells (lymphocytes, macrophages, etc) that are part of the immune system. Much of the article is on physiology, but the same can be said about other anatomical structures, in the digestive system, for example. Greensburger 01:40, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Excellent response, i added it in the project accordingly :). calaka 06:23, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Regulatory B-cells?[edit]

I removed this edit since the subject was not clear and no references were supplied. If anybody can find a source and see where this should go please add it back. Tim Vickers 20:04, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

"The regulatory B cell, is of the most advanced developments in the field of immunology today. It is believed to be a derivative of the regulatory T cell. It plays a role in the cytotoxicity towards foreign antigen."

Press release[edit]

This doesn't really belong as an external link, however is this an important enough advance to be incorporated into the article? Tim Vickers (talk) 19:03, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Intrinsic Immunity Needs to be Discussed Here![edit]

Intrinsic immunity is emerging as a new and important branch of the immune system, particularly in response to viral infections. Because it is still a new field no one has even created an article about it, but this needs to change. This article should include a section about intrinsic immunity. Hopefully I'll get around to adding it soon, but in the meantime I encourage anyone else with knowledge in this area to add a section to this article and/or create a separate intrinsic immunity page.Orb4peace (talk) 22:35, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

What's the name of this protein?[edit]

This sentence is at the end of Tumor immunology :

a combination of hypoxia in the tumor and a cytokine produced by macrophages induces tumor cells to decrease production of a protein that blocks metastasis and thereby assists spread of cancer cells.

It would, however, be interesting to know the name of the protein, as well as the cytokine. It doesn't need to be in the article, making it more complicated, but [[(the name)|a cytokine]] would suffice. Mikael Häggström (talk) 10:58, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

James Hubbard's My Family Doctor[edit]

As I said in the comment, I deleted the link below to James Hubbard's My Family Doctor. The editor who inserted it is James Hubbard himself, and the link is to his own web magazine. This violates WP:COI, WP:ADVERT, and a few other WP policies. Worst of all, the article in the link isn't too good, in my professional opinion. It merely gives some generic information, including some stuff scraped from the NIH web sites.

I'm sure that Dr. Hubbard didn't realize that he was violating WP rules, since he didn't attempt to disguise himself, and I'm sure he had good intentions, but under WP:COI, WP:ADVERT, etc. you can't insert links in WP articles to your own business. He's done that before Special:Contributions/MyFamilyDoctorMag and those links have to come out too. It's not even a close call -- it violates WP rules to link to your own web site and promote your own magazine.

It looks like he may be thinking of creating a WP page for his magazine too. The above problems apply to that too. Nbauman (talk) 21:25, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I respect your desire to keep Wikipedia free of spam. But I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of what is allowable and beneficial to Wikipedia, as I posted on the melatonin talk page, about my other link that you deleted.
I feel this link was valuable and filled in a gap here. The linked article addresses a common question that is not covered in depth in this Wikipedia piece: How do I boost my immune system? The article is written by a physician and is unbiased and evidence-based.
Further, I disagree with some of your assertions, and others are simply untrue.
  • Wikipedia does not say, "you can't insert links ... to your own business." It warns against abusing this. If I am, I apologize. But I would ask that you consider whether you would have deleted the article if another user had posted it. (I go into more detail in this argument on the melatonin page.)
  • I am not James Hubbard. I am associated with the magazine but am not the publisher.
  • None of the article is "scraped from NIH Web sites," and I'm at a loss to figure out why you make that contention. There is one illustration from there--that's it. It is an entirely original article.
I will say again: I have posted links to other sites not related to the magazine; I have made other edits. I do not post links that are not intrinsically valuable. I would like to repost the link but will await other input so I can further understand this issue.
Finally, if no one is allowed to post links to anything with which that person is connected, no matter how valuable, then I contend that this weakens Wikipedia's position and denies readers very useful information. I completely support denying any type of spam, but I believe that this does not fall into that category.
Thank you.
MyFamilyDoctorMag (talk) 22:47, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, MyFamilyDoctorMag, but WP has rules and your posting clearly violates those rules. You may think links to your magazine are valuable, but that's beside the point because the rules are clear:
Advertising and conflicts of interest
Main articles: Wikipedia:Conflict of interest and Wikipedia:Spam
Due to the rising prominence of Wikipedia and the amount of extra traffic it can bring a site, there is a great temptation to use Wikipedia to advertise or promote sites. This includes both commercial and non-commercial sites. You should avoid linking to a website that you own, maintain or represent, even if the guidelines otherwise imply that it should be linked. If the link is to a relevant and informative site that should otherwise be included, please consider mentioning it on the talk page and let neutral and independent Wikipedia editors decide whether to add it. This is in line with the conflict of interest guidelines. Note that since Wikipedia uses nofollow tags, external links may not alter search engine rankings.
Nbauman (talk) 05:13, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure how long you're wanting to continue this back-and-forth since, on the melatonin talk page, I've already indicated that I'm sick of it; you've won; I have no further interest in contributing to Wikipedia even though all but two of my edits (one of which was a factual correction) have not mentioned the magazine with which I'm associated. I continue to insist that if I had not been the user to post these links, they would not have been questioned. Therefore, I'm sick of the silly politics, knee-jerk reactions and outright lying that's been going on.
I can pull things from the COI page that support my point, as well. Example: "Where an editor must forgo advancing the aims of Wikipedia in order to advance outside interests, that editor stands in a conflict of interest." Both the melatonin and immune system Wikipedia articles are not helpful to laypeople. Further, neither addresses in depth two of the main topics about which laypeople wonder: melatonin for insomnia and how to boost your immune system. The links I provided are to a respected national magazine that has been in circulation for five years and is written by health-care professionals. If that's not a reliable resource, which can only help the aims of Wikipedia, I don't know what is. Further, the articles to which I linked are helpful in case regular people want to learn more about a specific aspect of the general topic.
I provided other external links, made other edits, etc., etc. Not one of those other things has been questioned. My transparency is the only thing that has caused these links to be questioned.
I just noticed another lie you put forth in your original post. You claimed that I (though you called me James Hubbard, due to yet another erroneous assumption) have done this "before and those links have to come out too." Really? What "links"? I added three links to the melatonin page, and last I checked, only the one to the magazine has been removed. You attempt to make it sound like I am a repeat offender when, in fact, you know that you deleted the immune system link and my one other link at the same time, and I never reposted them.
Since you seem so interested in making the Wikipedia rules cut-and-dry, with no gray area allowed, allow me to cite Wikipedia's "dispute resolution" guidelines: "... do not make personal attacks. Take the other person's perspective into account and try to reach a compromise. Assume that the other person is acting in good faith unless you have clear evidence to the contrary."
By lying about the article to which I linked (it's scraped from another site?!), posting an entire section here titled with the name of the magazine with which I'm associated (an obvious accusation), baselessly defaming the article to which I linked both in your reason for deletion and here, accusing me of being a deliberate repeat offender (a lie), etc., etc., you have violated every aspect of that Wikipedia rule.
I acknowledged in the melatonin page that I realize now I should have come to the talk pages before posting these links. I acknowledged that I understand your point of view better now. I have acknowledged that it's great that you want to keep Wikipedia free of spam. You, however, have made no attempts whatsoever to find any common ground at all. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do except defend myself.
Please be satisfied that you have put a bitter taste in my mouth for Wikipedia and chased me away, and leave me alone.

MyFamilyDoctorMag (talk) 18:17, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Macroscopic response[edit]

I couldn't seem to find anything about the immune system's response to macroscopic problems, such as mites, burrowing insects, flukes, or even things like splinters or fragments. Does anyone else think a section like that would be useful? (talk) 23:08, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that would be useful. I have read that the only beneficial function of histamine produced by mast cells is to combat parasites. Also friendly bacteria in sweat glands produce propionic acid which combats mold growth on the skin. And skin inflammation disposes of splinters as you suggested. However, I have not researched this and therefore cannot contribute a section in this article. I hope somebody can do so. Greensburger (talk) 00:27, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

About the sentence at the end of the introduction[edit]

The sentence at the end of the introduction, "These critical roles of immunology in health and disease are areas of intense scientific study," seemed to make rather sudden change of the subject. It would be improved by substituting the sentences I put for the previous one.

Immunology covers the study of all aspects of the immune system which has significant relevance to human health and diseases. Further investigation in this field is expected to play a serious role in promotion of health and treatment of diseases. --Tossh eng (talk) 01:52, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

CD20 on the B cell[edit]

The sentence at the end of the subsection "B lymphocytes and antibodies":"CD20 antigen is also found on B lymphocytes." has little relavance to the context. Some explanation about CD20 needs to be made? --Tossh eng (talk) 00:10, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree - the sentence looked out of place and seemed unlikely to add anything useful to this article. I removed it altogether! ~ Ciar ~ (Talk to me!) 02:11, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Image of Antibody[edit]

The image of the antibody shown is not very clear. One disulphide bond has been shown which gives the wrong impression that only one disulphide bond is present in an antibody. It does not show several other features as well. If anyone has a better picture please upload it.Proquence (talk) 10:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Is there an image you'd prefer in the antibody article? Tim Vickers (talk) 17:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
How about Image:Immunoglobulin basic unit.svg, caption and all? Fvasconcellos (t·c) 17:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
The image Image:Immunoglobulin basic unit.svg is better, but can we have an image of IgG1 showing all the three Constant regions, hinge region and all the disulphide bonds? The image I found here [4] is much more accurate, unfortunately it appears to be copyrighted. Can we have anything close to this? Proquence (talk) 18:56, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Cytokine storm[edit]

Help please, article cleanup and verification needed. Tim Vickers (talk) 20:30, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

AIDS and some types of cancer cause acquired immunodeficiency ?[edit]

In the article it is stated that "AIDS and some types of cancer cause acquired immunodeficiency." Would it not be more correct to say 'HIV and some types of cancer cause acquired immunodeficiency.'? Dionyseus (talk) 07:18, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Adaptive Immune System (Memory)[edit]

This section talks about immunological memory where a pathogen is remembered. How does the memory cells know that it's their turn to fight? Is it trial and error or something identifies which antigen should be used (if so who stores this information and takes the decision)? It seems, these things are not described in the article. Ahirwav (talk) 08:00, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I have revised the second paragraph to make it clearer that almost all vertebrates, (the jawed vertebrates to be specific) have adaptive immune systems. Perhaps more wordsmithing is called for in this introductory section to explain the essentials without risk of oversimplification, postponing finer details to later in the article, e.g. that non-jawed vertebrates, like lampreys, have more primitive immune systems.CharlesHBennett (talk) 14:19, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


couldn't the hyper sensitivity be be for people who need a highly responsive immune system for people who live in the slums, people who work in unhygenic places such s treatment plants and also from the middle ages when hygien was practically unheard of.please change this if i am wrong or need help —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Evolution/origin of the immune system[edit]

There appears to be no section about the evolution/origin of the immune system. I know there is lots of scientific information and literature on this subject and an addition to the article would be fantastic! I do not have enough knowledge on this particular subject but I know there are experts on it. Research on this of course comes up with a lot of hits on intelligent design and pseudo-science-like sources. The purpose however, would not be to discuss anything about this social controversy.

Articles on the subject:

Thoughts? Comments? Expertise? Andrew Colvin (talk) 20:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

is a —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

What? Andrew Colvin (talk) 20:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)


That picture of Paul Ehrlich is rather large. Someone with more tech know-how should probably make it a bit smaller. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Critique of Kusername's edits of 6 & 7 Dec 2011[edit]

I am welcoming critique in case there are concerns. Kusername (talk) 04:42, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

First, it's a Featured Article. Set up an FAR if you want to change it so much. Second, I hate your edits mostly. It's like you haven't spent a second reading up WP:MOS or WP:MEDMOS or anything else. "So to say"???? What kind of encyclopedic language is that? What kind of section dividers are you using? One sentence sections? And have you read up on WP:CITET?? Do you know about Diberri's tool? I could go on. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 04:48, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
(ec) You've edited this page for some 20 hours straight, get some rest :-). Beware that such sudden rewrites can be reverted only because it is an WP:FA (well, old one). Normal procedure is to propose changes here first. Materialscientist (talk) 04:54, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
I read over the last stable edit (your reversion) from November. The article reads well. Does it need some work? Yeah, it appears that some cruft and other junk have entered the article. Some cites are dead links. BUT, it was organized well and stable. An FAR is appropriate. I've been working on the history section, and it reads like a list. In 1852, Bill Smith did this. In 1857, John Doe did that. It belongs in Immunology not the Immune system article. I'm seconds from reverting back to the last stable version and ask that Kusername spend some time proposing his edits, one step at a time. And use some damn edit summaries PLEASE. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 05:03, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Deadlinks are normally not an issue - they are easy to fix. Let us invite the relevant project to decide: revert and cleanup or cleanup this version - it is an important article, and there is some work to do. Materialscientist (talk) 05:09, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your friendly comment, Materialscientist. I understand a least a bit of the concern—many changes—yet at first I intended only to delete the massive bias utterly impeding explanation of the immune system as understood in modern immunology. The article so severely lacked basic information—and the foundation of the information was medial rhetoric and not immunology—and was so riddled with sociocultural presumptions that the immune system is designed to "attack foreigners" that I felt irresponsible leaving it. I presumed that no one much cared about the article, as it was vastly out of touch with even basic concepts and processes in the immune system. I'll review the issue in a later post here. Kusername (talk) 08:51, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to be a hound dog, but I should point out that this user made very similar edits to Scientific realism. These ended up all being reverted, and a very long talk page discussion didn't get anywhere. StAnselm (talk) 06:39, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
StAnselm fails to note that StAnselm exhibited severe lack of familiarity with the topic at hand and severely violated 5P (ruling by mere democratic opinion), consensus (ruling by mere democratic vote), and alleged "completely off-topic" and "original synthesis" but offered not a single citation or explanation to support the allegations versus my citations in scholarly sources and explanation.
StAnselm supported an individual who severely violated 5P, consensus, and levied alleged "original research" and "undue weight" and breaking NPA by posting mocking photos and eventually even cursing at me, and yet was accusing me of personal attacks once I simply analyzed the individual's statements for their severe outright opposition to 5P, scientific realism itself, and fundamental physics (quantum field theory). In the discussion StAnselm exhibited utter lack of familiarity with philosophy of science of the past 50 years and confessed utter confusion about quantum field theory.
StAnselm made massive deletion, thoroughly cited, to the part of the article that swiftly reviewed the structure via religion and governing of Western society—which I thoroughly cited with relevant scholars as required to even enter the topic of scientific realism—and the other individual exhibited political sympathies against 20th century American mainstream history published by the devoted scholars through university presses and mainstream journals.
I find indecent for StAnselm to come here too and try to bad-talk me. The talk page would not have been very long if StAnselm had been honest and acknowledged that StAnselm would ignore all explanation and citation upon the very topic itself but keep posting merely vague accusations and complaints keeping the page going. I, myself, am the one who ended the discussion—when I realized StAnselm was fundamentally opposed to the topic scientific realism and had incidentally found an ally in the the other individual opposed to the topic for different reasons.
And, no, I did not make very similar edits to Scientific realism. Why come here asserting more lack of familiarity with the topic—here the immune system. In the scientific realism article, I had a section called "Theory of immunity"—yet did not even get to it and so it was empty. Please, why come here and make more emotional, paranoid, and now undoubtedly personal allegations? Now StAnselm is helping clutter up this page too by this pretense. (And I am posting it here because only now it has become relevant to this discussion of this article. Kusername (talk) 07:08, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Whatever. This is an important article. It matters to a lot of people. The polite way to proceed is address the concerns expressed by OrangeMarlin, above. Explain yourself here, and use clear edit summaries so others know what you're up to. OrangeMarlin referred to FAR. He means WP:FAR. If an FA needs a lot of work, starting an FAR will attract other editors with interest and expertise to collaborate. Diberri's tool is here. It automatically creates a good citation when you enter an article's PubMed ID. (Find the article here and its PubMed ID is below the abstract.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 07:31, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be polite to acknowledge that I began this article discussion section specifically to address the concerns—yet OrangeMarlin refuses to explain the concerns and merely makes accusations and complaints. Aside from that, however, I think your information is useful, and I sincerely thank you. Kusername (talk) 07:34, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
One more personal attack on me, and I'll be placing a template on your page. Noting how many you have had, it's not going to be a good thing. I went to sleep. Wikipedia is NOT the most important thing in my life. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 19:21, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
You posted on my talk page berating my edits but acknowledged having not even read them yet. I started this discussion here, then, to welcome criticism. You posted here with mere intensified accusations about how horrible an editor I am—no explained illustrations of this—and what you "hate". You deleted my post from your talk page, and have yet to address that concern—about the article—here either. Instead you accuse me of personally attacking you—and you threaten me too—though I kept my comments within the top three tiers of Wikipedia's criticism pyramid for avoiding personal attacks.
If you cannot endure characterization of your own assertions, omissions, and editing actions, it would help to withhold the allegations when awake. I welcome criticism of what I actually did or said, not assertion of the confusion that my simply analyzing statements and actions relating to the article is "personal attack". (Perhaps it appears that way only when the other person does it.) I ask you to either accept comments on your talk page, answer my responses to your own posts on my talk page—what you have yet to do either—or let us go to Wikipedia etiquette assistance, not start piling on accusations of personal attacks, too, merely because I analyzed and characterized what you said or did in relation to your own assertions, actions, and stated opinions about the article's content. You still have yet to address, here on the article discussion page, the concerns I raised on your talk page—a post you deleted—as well as in my response to your post on my talk page. Kusername (talk) 01:13, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

In this "Immune system" article, I early deleted from the section "History" severely false information about Pasteure and Koch—the misinformation about Koch going so far as to say he was awarded a 1905 Nobel Prize for "Koch's postulates"—but it was reinserted by OrangeMarlin as "important". Perhaps every historian of biology and historian of medicine knows the claims are severely false medical propaganda—that Pasteur did not develop germ theory and that Koch did not even set forth "Koch's postulates".

Respecting OrangeMarlin's wish, I put it in some context and indicated that germ theory is popularly attributed to Pasteur and Koch. Then I indicated the actual developments key in history of immunology. If one does not want that, then what is the section for? Medical propagnda about the long-failed germ theory? What pure immunologists in the world believe that germ theory is true?

On my talk page, in response to OrangeMarlin's post, I clarified the utter confusions that OrangeMarlin put back into the "Immune system" article. Really, I would not even have bothered add such history of immunology—explaining what actually occurred—if OrangeMarlin had not been so adamant in putting medical mythology, mainly political, in it. So I offered counterbalance—apparently not suiting OrangeMarlin's sense of taste.

Now OrangeMarlin alleges my version of the history section is merely recital of dates. Is it meant to be lionizing? Anyway, yes, when the subsection titles that I included—showing divisions, relations, and progression of concepts—were removed, it becomes mere recital of dates (diff). In the deletion of the subsection titles, "Bacteriology", developed in 1876 by Koch, was mashed into one paragraph with ancient Greek and 18th century observations of immunity—two wholly different topics—and yet the three sentences on autoimmunity, previously separate within their subsection "Autoimmunity", were left as three separate paragraphs. To criticise the section as merely the recital of dates, unstructured, it would be less ironic if one did not first demolish the structure and incidentally demonstrate that a novice to history of biology and history of medicine can scarcely make heads or tails of it without some sort of theoretical guidance.

When I saw this, I posted the following on OrangeMarlin's talk page—it was deleted with the suggestion that it would be addressed here on the article's discussion page—and I got no response to it:

Hello. My concern with the history section is that without subsections identified, the concepts are extremely confusing for a novice—virtually impossible for a novice to assimilate and mentally organize in clear fashion. Yet I did not wish to add formal subsections, as that would further lengthen the content box for a section that itself is not part of the elucidation of the immune system. Do you think that putting the bold tags back, but putting a colon after each—and perhaps placing the paragraph in line with the bold tag—would be suitable? My concern is that, without some structure, the demarcation and relations of concepts are just too confusing for someone not already very familiar with history of biology and history of medicine

And yet here I still see no response, just more complaining. I'm all for collaboration, yet can we have some reference to actual history of immunology—not medical mythology—if one insists on the history section to begin with? Contrary to StAnselm's assertion, I did not do here "very similar" as I did on the Scientific realism page, as I'm not the one who even thinks a history section relevant on an article about the immune system, not whether this theory of immunonology is a true description of the natural world as it really is independently of the human mind. Kusername (talk) 07:44, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Where my interaction with OrangeMarlin began—and my response—a fair entry point to reviewing my position. Kusername (talk) 07:59, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I am amid writing a post with citations to explain the premise of my edits—my response to Materialscientist's comment is a presage—yet first I am sleeping for a few hours. Kusername (talk) 09:51, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm giving you good faith, despite numerous complaints about you on another article. Bitching about me goes right through me without notice, so stop it. Stick with discussions about the article. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 19:18, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
If you are going to bring into this topic "numerous complaints" about me on another article, it might be useful to note that none of the numerous complaints were supported by a single explained illustration. Rather, they opened with a propaganda photo—posted by someone who closed by literally cursing at me while throwing everything but the kitchen sink to refute the most basic principles of quantum field theory which describes three of the four fundamental forces of nature—and that I, however, clearly explained the violations being made from start to finish by the two other individuals, StAnselm and one other, who were severely violating the 1st, 2nd, and 5th pillars, NPA, and consenus. It would also be useful to note that I did not make any edits against discussion, whereas the other two editors (literally only deleters) both did to in order to restore the article to a Aug 2011 version that has tags since Oct 2009 saying it needs verification and that it is poor quality, while on the talk page the first several comments explained that the article as virtually useless. So, if you're going to bring up this issue, I think it would be more useful to not merely base your indications on social heuristics and to actually address the substance—or simply omit it. Kusername (talk) 00:35, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Comment: I think these edits have made a right mess of this Featured Article. I concede that some sections were in need of updating, but the changes have been made without due regard to established processes such as WP:FAR, policies, style guidelines and quality of the prose (which is shoddy to say the least). The density and speed of the changes along with the lack of edit summaries make consideration of the value of changes impossible. I propose reverting to the last stable version and discussing proposed additions and changes here first, as is our practice with Featured Articles. Graham Colm (talk) 18:26, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary break Full revert[edit]

With all due apologies to Kusername and, just to make this clear to others, I am assuming good faith with Kusername, I reverted back to the last stable version of Materialscientist in November. Here are my issues:

  1. Most importantly, this is an FA article, and should be treated with some degree of respect. If we don't like the article, FAR it. If it needs some work, then bring it here.
  2. I was trying to clean up the article last night, starting with the history section. But, and again, with all due respect, it was poorly written. The language was repetitive, and while I was editing it, I just thought that it was too much for a history section. In fact, I thought it worked better with Immunology.
  3. Citations were malformed. I think the editor should review WP:CITET, but that's minor.
  4. Too many headings. It made it really hard to read.
  5. Other sections were totally confusing. Original article was much easier.
  6. About 2/3's of edits lacked edit summaries. Now, missing edit summaries are key indicators of vandalism, and we know there is no vandalism here. But with so many edits on the same article, edit summaries allow us to discuss if the edits are useful.

I think Kusername has the right intention, but if I might make an observation is that the editor needs a bit more experience. We all made a mess of articles when we started out. I would suggest that he/she take each section and review it here. We all would help out. His/her edits are still in the history, so nothing is lost. I've done this before, going back in history to cut and paste when fixing an article. In fact, just so he/she isn't totally insulted, I'd say over 50% of their edits will eventually be useful, and most of my issues are with formatting and style. When I review edits, I also read the articles to see if they fit with the statement, and I don't have 24 hours straight to look at the massive edits here.

Once again, I want Kusername to be around here for a long time. He/she obviously is a devoted editor. I don't have that much energy. But I think we should do this right so that we can maintain this article as an FA. Because with those edits, I might have FAR'ed it immediately.

BTW, if anyone disagrees with me and wants to revert my reversion, I'm fine with that, but I think we should start from the beginning. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 19:11, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I concur. With everything, including the bit about Kusername's good intentions. You have to tread very carefully on FAs, Kusername. There's no hurry. Please propose one edit here, with explanation and references, and see what everybody thinks about it. Be brief, concise. To help you choose the right references, and save everybody a lot of time, you must read, understand and follow WP:MEDRS. Carry on. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 19:49, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree with going back and taking small steps. Kusername, looking back over your talk page contribs, can I please ask you to keep the length of your postings down and keep to the point. Let's have a sourced-based discussion of the article text and what improvements should be done. We can take our time so I repeat Anthony's comment about one edit/change for discussion at a time. Colin°Talk 20:23, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarifications, everyone, about the FAR. Thank you for the clear list of points, OrangeMarlin. And thank you for the attempted respectfulness, Colin. That said, I ask us others encourage other users, not only the one on the hotseat, to keep to the point, not insert unexplained allegations (particularly ones not even related to this article). If one applies the rules equally—including to base accusations and complaints on actual points and not merely "hate"—I will have less exhibited confusion and unsupported accusations to untangle and explain after seeing that apparently other individuals cannot recognize their unbased nature and seem to take alike authority opinion.
Anyway, if one cannot take the literally but three to five minutes to read an explanation—particularly in response to unexplained allegations as if the accuser's mere unqualified opinion is authoritative—then perhaps one is not interested to begin with and might consider letting interested parties decide. I'll respond more specifically later—yet note that OrangeMarlin still has yet to address my concerns about the severe bias, utter falsehoods, in the FAR article's history section. Less conspicuous—yet egregiously more impeding understanding of the immune system—is the severe bias of medical ideology in the FAR article's introductions. Because the FAR article exhibits utterly severe and fundamental errors—confusing medical ideology with pure immunology—my explanations will be lengthy and perhaps take 10 minutes of reading as well a thinking.
As for the reversion to FAR, it does not trouble me. Immunology is among my interests. I am not in such need of a Wikipedia article to introduce me to the immune system. My concern was that the article is severely misleading—so fundamentally misleading that such nearsightedness and socicultural bias is the subject of much literature by scientists and scholars—for a novice to the topic of the immune system. Kusername (talk) 00:22, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, you may be on the wrong website, then. You seem to have misunderstood how this site operates. We are tightly constrained in what we can put into articles by policies, including the one I mentioned earlier, WP:MEDRS, as well as WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE and others. These are tedious dirges but essential reading for anyone hoping to collaborate here. They explain that we only present (in our own words) the mainstream science view on medical topics.
Consequently, the editing process usually involves reflecting the recent (5 years or less) view of a current established expert in the field, published in a systematic review, textbook or similar. This article seems to present the current scientific consensus on the immune system. If you wish to make changes that conflict with that, you are unlikely to find agreement. If you wish to try, do not post long tracts arguing your point. The only argument that works here is offering the exact words of the change you want to make, alongside the words of the current expert in the field whose view supports the change.
I didn't make this up. This is really how things work here. We are dumbly conservative parrots. Also, I've asked you, and Colin's asked you to be concise. We did this because of what I just said. Nobody here is a bit interested in your arguments, the only rhetoric that works here is the recently published assertions of a topic expert in a WP:MEDRS. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 03:07, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Cytotoxic T cell.svg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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potential resource[edit]

Unusual Flavors Can Dampen Immune Response The brain can be taught to suppress the body's immune system by Lauren F. Friedman Scientific American January 7, 2012; excerpt ...

Thirty-two subjects were fed a green-colored, lavender-scented strawberry milk—an odd concoction designed to taste unique. For three days in a row, about half the subjects took an immunosuppressive drug along with the drink, whereas the other half took a placebo pill. After five days and then again another 11 days later, all the participants received a placebo pill along with the strawberry milk. Both times the immune systems of the experimental group were significantly inhibited after drinking the milk—as shown by levels of immunoresponsive molecules in their blood—whereas the control group was practically unchanged.

See Ivan Pavlov, Placebo-controlled study, (talk) 05:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't there be a section on influence of stress on the immune system[edit]

There is enough reliably-sourced information (effect of glucocorticoids on the cytokines interleukin-1/2). The info is probably of wide interest? Call me AK (talk) 04:20, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

FYI, here is a current interesting article[5] on sleep and clearing the brain from toxins; clearly important to the immune system success. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 12:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC) — Better sleep, less stress, better health.


In its present state the article does not mention what the human immune system consists of (white blood cells, the thymus, lymph nodes and lymph channels). Perhaps, it should. EIN (talk) 20:35, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Sentence structure suggestions and Subheading addition[edit]

  • In the introduction section, the last line of the first paragraph should be edited so that it reads more like "..such as the innate immune system versus the adaptive immune system and the adaptive immune system which can be subdivided into the humoral and cell-mediated immunities."
  • In the introduction section, the fourth sentence of the last paragraph should read "..In contrast, autoimmunity results from a hyperactive immune response which attacks normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms."
  • Under the Disorders of human immunity and then under the Autoimmunity sub heading the 3rd and 4th lines should read "Under normal circumstances, many T cells and antibodies are capable of reacting with "self" peptides. However, one of the functions..."
  • I think it would be more effective and more informative if under the Physiological regulation section if a subsection title "Sleep and Rest" were to be added beneath the "Nutrition and Diet subsection. The information related to citations 106 though 109 could placed here and the information in general could be expanded as well to more fully discuss the impact of sleep and the general lack thereof.Hhrdlick (talk) 13:57, 31 March 2014 (UTC)