is actually a positive reaction of the body. In the case of injuries the acute inflammation helps to protect damaged regions and starts the repair.
An acute inflammation lasts only days or a couple of weeks. If the inflammation lasts longer then we talk about a chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is the result of injury, auto immune processes or infections.
Leukocytes involved in the process of a chronic inflammation are monocytes and macrophages.
The problem is the production of pro-inflammatory mediators which cause tissue damage.
If we look further into the immune system involvement then we find CD4 classified immune cells. They produce cytokines, which are chemical messengers.
Other immune cells involved in the immune system response are Thymus Helper Cells for short Th. There are several branches of TH cells like the TH1, TH2, TH17 and Treg (regulatory T cells).
If you have Hashimoto’s then you probably know about TH1 or 2 dominance. TH17 pathway is often times overlooked, but is as important as the other pathways.
TH1 cells are activated in the case of microorganisms while TH2 cells protect against parasitic infections.
Interesting to know for women is probably the fact that during a pregnancy the immune system dominates shifts toward TH2.
Therefore the babies are most likely born with a th2 dominance. Once they are exposed to germs, microorganisms then the body develops the immune system and the body will balance TH1/2.
So, what is the TH17 pathway? It plays a major role in the Gastro intestinal tract. Th17 pathway will attract neutrophils and promote inflammation. Neutrophils are white blood cells and are involved in the innate immune system / meaning it is the first line of defense, acting in the case of infections but it will not cause a long lasting protective immunity in the host.
Treg cells (Regulatory T cells or suppressor cells) limit chronic inflammation by suppressing the activation of the immune system and are very important in preventing autoimmunity.
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