inflammatory responsemedical dictionary

A part of innate immunity. Inflammation occurs when tissues are injured by viruses, bacteria, trauma, chemicals, heat, cold or any other harmful stimulus. Chemicals including bradykinin, histamine, serotonin and others are released by specialised cells. These chemicals attract tissue macrophages and white blood cells to localise in an area to engulf (phagocytize) and destroy foreign substances. A byproduct of this activity is the formation of pus--a combination of white blood cells, bacteria and foreign debris. The chemical mediators released during the inflammatory response give rise to the typical findings associated with inflammation.

(27 Sep 1997)