The immune system has a large capability for immobilizing invading microbes, creating a hostile environment for them, and bringing about their destruction (1). The immune system may also become activated, in a similar way to the response to microbial invasion, by a wide range of stimuli and conditions that do not directly involve pathogens; these include burns, penetrating and blunt injury, the presence of tumor cells, environmental pollutants, radiation, exposure to allergens, and the presence of chronic inflammatory diseases. The response of the immune system to this diverse range of agents and conditions contains many common elements. These, however, vary in intensity according to their impact on the body. The elements of the response include the production of immunomodulatory proteins (cytokines), oxidant molecules (hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, hypochlorous acid, and nitric oxide), anti-inflammatory hormones (cortisol), natural antagonists (cytokine receptor antagonists), and anti-oxidants enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) (2).
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