Ranting, raving, semi-educated atheist, antitheist, darwinian geek on a permanent power trip to nowhere 

Monday, March 31, 2008

Macrophages: the straight up ballers of the immune system

Today I am a convert. As I struggled through my study I looked upon a vision of perfection and saw the light. Falling down on my knees I looked to the dingy ceiling of the GF Medical Library and proclaimed loudly "Biology is my God now". The stimulus for this holiest of moments? The humble Macrophage; nature's straight up baller. So I present the following:

Macrophages: the straight up ballers of the immune system, a lay summary (of sorts).

Okay so Timmy C Banger (Macrophage) is cruisin' down the street in his pimped out limo, polished spinnaz and chrome mags representin' in the west-side hood (immune system) and he comes across this shady character hangin' outside the drug store. Timmy C is looking this homie up and down and he's like dayum you ain't no west-side balla what you think you're doin? Must be an east-side rat (antigen). So he grabs this fool and drags him into the backseat of the limo (engulfs the antigen) and starts givin him the saturday night special, whippin him with his piece (degrading intracellular proteins within the proteasomes). 

So he get done mashing this fool up and he's all bloody and blue, clothes all ratty looking like he's been hit by a truck (degraded into antigenic peptides of nine to eleven amino acids). Timmy C's pretty pissed that this b-boy was invadin his turf so he's gonna make an example of him for any other punks thinkin' they can take his slice of the action. 

Homeboy throws him against the front of the limo divider (endoplasmic reticulum)  and takes a red west-side bandana out from behind the back seat (newly synthesized MHC molecule) and ties it around the guys neck (binds the MHC to the antigenic peptides in the ER). 

Timmy's real fired now and lookin' to start trouble with this east-siders so he punches the button for the sunroof (golgi) and shoves the guy out (MHC-antigenic peptide complex). Meanwhile this guy is still pretty out of it and like wtf man I just wanted to deal some rock why you gotta be like that, man I shoulda stayed at home with the missus. They're still cruisin down the strip and Timmy's got this guy hangin out his sunroof so all his west-side bangas (T-Cells) can see. Couple mins later Mastah T (a T-helper cell or B cell) pulls up alongside in his chopped out lowrider and he's like sheet man I was born to deal with that sucka (has membrane receptors that are complementary in shape to the antigens exposed) and grabs this guy hanging out the sunroof. So Mastah P is like dw boss I'll spread the word, it's war on these east-side suckas. So he whips out his phone and calls his 40 cousins hanging outside the pool hall on 80th street.

Now these 80th street vatos are like the wayne bradys of Timmy's crew, all glocks no frocks. You only call these boys out when there's some killing to do (cytotoxic T-cells). So they jump in their cars and go looking for these east-siders (cells displaying the specific antigen-MHC complexes). They roll up on this crowd of em sippin a 40 of the good stuff and they're pullin shanks like there's no tommorrow, stabbin left and right (using pore-forming proteins) before finding the steel and icing 'em for good (injecting a multitude of toxins into the cell). They roll out without a scratch cos they're straight up gangsta's 4 lyfe and blast some biggie smalls on the way back to the crib. Some of the older homes are smart enough to write down the license plates on some of their rides so they can spot them if they ever even think of raidin west-side turf ever again (small number of cytotoxic and helper T-cells serve as memory cells). 

Off they ride into the sunset, throwing the W and hollerin West-side for life.

And THAT, is why Macrophages are the biggest badasses in all of biology. Werd.

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