Immune-Privileged Sites

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
How does your body protect important organs from collateral damage when defending against foreign invaders? This lesson will discuss how immune-privileged sites can help protect vital parts of your body.

Secret Societies

The Illuminati, the Stonemasons, the Knights Templar, and many other secret and privileged societies have existed, are alleged to have existed, or actually exist today. These societies hold various secrets and usually have very few members.

If you feel it's unfair that you aren't a part of a secret society, there's some good news. You don't need to be part of one. They are a part of your already. You'll find out why as we learn about immune-privileged sites.

What Does the Immune System Do?

Immune-privileged sites are the places of our body that are isolated from the immune system. The immune system is a collection of cells, biomolecules, and organs that serve to protect your body from foreign invaders. For example, if you get sick with the flu, it is actually the immune system that fights back the flu virus for you. So, you can think of the immune system as an internal police force of sorts.

However, there is one big catch to the immune system. The immune system is also capable of harming your own body's cells. As it attacks a foreign invader, the destructive process that the immune system initiates to kill the invader can also harm your body a bit as collateral damage. In some instances, the immune system doesn't even need a foreign invader to hurt you. It can hurt you when it erroneously attacks you for no justifiable reason. This is called an autoimmune disorder.

The takeaway here is that while the immune system can save you, it can also kill you if it goes crazy.

What Are The Immune-Privileged Sites?

This is why immune-privileged sites exist. They exist to protect you and the site from the potentially destructive force of an immune system gone wild. Like secret societies, they also harbor secrets from the immune system as well, as you're going to learn in just a bit.

And just as secret societies aren't all that common, there aren't that many immune-privileged sites either. Traditionally, the immune-privileged sites of our body have been held as being limited to just four parts:

  • The brain
  • The eyes
  • The testicles
  • The uterus

The brain was traditionally considered to be an immune-privileged site although we now know this is not entirely true.
Brain

The keyword here is traditionally. That's because relatively more recent scientific study has shown us that some of these sites may not have full immune-privilege all of the time, or to all of their distinct parts, for various reasons that are beyond this lesson's scope. Additionally, some evidence has revealed that other parts of our body, like our cartilage and hair follicles, may have partial immune-privilege as well.

The Importance Of Immune-Privileged Sites

The importance of immune-privileged sites was briefly noted in the second section of this lesson. It's about protecting the immune-privileged site from potential harm from the immune system. That being said, let's go over a specific example that showcases this importance. Let's take The Secret Society of the Uterus (womb), an immune-privileged site, as our example. What is their secret?

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