Inflammation

Fat a culprit in fibrotic lung damage

Pulmonary fibrosis has no cure. It's caused by scarring that seems to feed on itself, with the tougher, less elastic tissue replacing the ever moving and stretching lung, making it increasingly difficult for patients to breathe. ...

16 hours ago
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Chlamydia knocks out the body's own cancer defence

Infections due to the sexually transmitted bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis often remain unnoticed. The pathogen is not only a common cause of female infertility; it is also suspected of increasing the ri ...

Nov 14, 2014
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Treating diabetes one meal at a time

Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050. The American Diabetes Association observes November as American Diabetes Month, and this year's theme is America ...

Nov 19, 2014
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Inflammation (Latin, īnflammō, "I ignite, set alight") is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen. However, inflammation is a stereotyped response, and therefore it is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity, as compared to adaptive immunity, which is specific for each pathogen.

Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. Similarly, progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer (e.g., gallbladder carcinoma). It is for that reason that inflammation is normally closely regulated by the body.

Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes ) from the blood into the injured tissues. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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