Inflammatory disorders

The two sides of inflammation—the cure and the curse

One of the many wonders—and mysteries—of human biology is the complex response of the innate immune system, which is known for its swiftness in annihilating invading pathogens and capacity to mount an explosive inflammatory ...

Oncology & Cancer

How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes

Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have determined one of the ways in which cancers in remission can spring back into action. This knowledge has inspired a new treatment idea designed to prevent cancer recurrence ...

Immunology

Exercising muscle combats chronic inflammation on its own

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised. The discovery was made possible through the use of ...

Medical research

Inflamed environment is Clostridioides difficile paradise

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that the inflammation caused by Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection gives the pathogen a two-fold advantage: by both creating an inhospitable environment for ...

Immunology

New insights into the control of inflammation

Scientists at The Wistar Institute discovered that Early Growth Response 1 (EGR1), a protein that turns on and off specific genes during blood cell development, inhibits expression of pro-inflammatory genes in macrophages. ...

Oncology & Cancer

Brain cancer linked to tissue healing

The healing process that follows a brain injury could spur tumor growth when new cells generated to replace those lost to the injury are derailed by mutations, Toronto scientists have found. A brain injury can be anything ...

page 1 from 40

Inflammation

Inflammation (Latin, inflamatio, to set on fire) is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection, the two are not synonymous: infection is caused by an exogenous pathogen, while inflammation is the response of the organism to the pathogen.

In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, an inflammation that runs unchecked can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 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 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 which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterised by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.

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