Are there Different Kinds of Inflammation?
The basic two types of inflammation. They are the immediate hypersensitivity and the delayed hypersensitivity.
The immediate hypersensitivity is mediated by antibodies, especially of the IGE class. These are the antibodies involved when you take a whiff of a flower or pollen and start sneezing, and develop hay fever.
The other type of inflammation comes on a day or two later. This type is mediated by lymphocytes: white blood cells that are in your body that distinguish what belongs and what doesn’t belong. Then, they set up a reaction to it by dividing in the lymph nodes and bringing an army of cells out to destroy the targets.
They destroy especially two kinds of targets. One target is you, modified, so if you have some poison ivy on your skill cells that get recognized as “you, modified”. The other kind of “you, modified” could be if you have a tumor that’s arising and the cells look a bit different than they should. Your body uses a very sophisticated arm of the immune system to distinguish those differences and set up a reaction to destroy them.
And your body is doing that all the time – getting rid of those tumors. And that is the delayed hypersensitivity system. Both of these systems can recognize a problem and get rid of it. For instance, hypersensitivity will attack virally infected cells or chemically modified cells as well as tumors, or even the fungus-modified cells. So if you have a fungus they’re involved in that attack as well.
However in some instances, your body’s immune system does something different. Once it has recognized some target that seems to be a problem, it may start to recognize some other parts of your system modified that look like the original target. And your body will attack that and cause destruction and an inflammation there as well. This we call cross-reactive attack because of molecular mimicry.
So the body’s immune system has two different major systems and many, many variations. Information has been growing since I started studying this decades ago. But these two basic types still prevail and are good starting points for understanding react to different things.