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Difference Between Humoral Immunity and Cell-Mediated Immunity

Main Difference

The main difference between Humoral Immunity and Cell-Mediated Immunity is that Humoral immunity formed antigen-specific antibodies, whereas Cell-Mediated Immunity does not produce any antibodies.

Humoral Immunity vs. Cell-Mediated Immunity

Humoral immunity is considered as a part of the adaptive immunity in which B cells release antibodies, which flow in the body’s blood as a soluble protein. On the other hand, cell-mediated immunity is considered as the second part of the adaptive immunity, which is facilitated by the stimulated antigen-specific T cells. The humoral immunity is specifically interceded by B cells; on the contrary, the cell-mediated immunity is precisely intervened by T cells.

Some cells, such as B cells, T cells, and macrophages, primarily mediated the humoral immunity, while on the flip side, some cells such as cytotoxic T cells, helper T cells, macrophages, and neutral killer cells usually mediated the cell-mediated immunity. The humoral immunity generally acts on the microbes which are present outside the cells and their toxins; at the same time, the cell-mediated immunity acts on the germs which are present inside the cells such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumor cells.

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The humoral immunity consists of BCR receptors; on the other hand, the cell-mediated immunity consists of TCR receptors. The accessory receptors present in the humoral immunity are the CD40, Fc receptors, Igα, CD21, and Igβ; on the contrary, the accessory receptors present in the cell-mediated immunity are the integrins, CD2, CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD28.

The humoral immunity recognized the natural antigens, while at the same time, in the cell-mediated immunity, the MHC complexes presented and processed the antigens. In the humoral immunity, the plasma B cells release the antibodies; in contrast, in cell-mediated immunity, the T cells release cytokines.

Comparison Chart

Humoral ImmunityCell-Mediated Immunity
Humoral immunity is known as the type of immunity that is mediated by macromolecules present in the extracellular body fluids.Cell-mediated immunity is known as the other type of immunity, which relatively identifies and kills the infected cells present inside the body.
Considered As
It considered as a part of the adaptive immunity in which B cells release antibodies, which flow in the body’s blood as a soluble protein.It considered the second part of adaptive immunity, which is facilitated by the stimulated antigen-specific T cells.
Main Cells
It specifically interceded by B cells.It precisely interceded by T cells.
Onset
The response is fast.The response is a delayed-type of hypersensitivity.
Cell Types
Some cells, such as B cells, T cells, and macrophages, primarily mediate this immunity.Some cells, such as cytotoxic T cells, helper T cells, macrophages, and neutral killer cells, usually mediate this immunity.
Action
Acts on the microbes which are present outside the cells and their toxins.Acts on the microbes which are present inside the cells, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and tumor cells.
Receptors
Consist of BCR receptorsConsist of TCR receptors
Accessory Surface Molecules
The accessory receptors present in the humoral immunity are the CD40, Fc receptors, Igα, CD21, and Igβ.The accessory receptors present in the cell-mediated immunity are the integrins, CD2, CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD28
Role of MHC Molecules
It recognized natural antigens.The MHC complexes presented and processed the antigens.
Secretion
The plasma B cells release the antibodies.The T cells release cytokines.
Tumor Cells and Transplants
Usually does not perform on the transplants and tumor cells.Perform on tumor cells and transplants.
Hypersensitivity Reactions
Hypersensitivity type IVMediates hypersensitivity type I, II and III
Antigen Binding
The B cells release antibodies, and these antibodies bind to antigens.The T cell receptors present on cells bind to T cells, which then bind to antigens.
Immunological Surveillance
It does not offer immunological surveillance.It offers immunological surveillance.
Role in Organ Transplantation and Grafting
Maybe intricate in initial graft rejection due to the production of antibodies.Involved in the denial of organ transplants.
Immunity Against Cancer
It does not offer immunity against cancer.It provides immunity against cancer because it can destroy cancerous and tumor cells.
Assessment Method
The assessment method is done by the plasma level of antibodies.The assessment method is done by skin tests for the growth of a delayed-type of hypersensitivity.
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What is Humoral Immunity?

The humoral is known as the type of adaptive immunity which is created through flowing antibodies. The humoral immunity produces an appropriate immune response to a specific external material. Humoral immunity protects the outer area of the cell.

Many pathogens that enter into the body multiply in the outer region of the cell. The pathogens which are present in the inside of the cell, move from one cell to the other cell by extracellular area. That is why the outer space of the cell is considered essential for destroying the pathogens.

The antibodies are formed in the humoral immunity, usually secreted through plasma B cells. Frequently the initiation of B cells happens in T helper cells. The antibodies of humoral immunity kill pathogens in three different ways.

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What is Cell-Mediated Immunity?

The cell-mediated is the second type of immunity interceded by antigen-specific T cells. The T cells of the cell-mediated immunity are formed in the bone marrow and then developed in the thymus. The occurrence of T cells can be found in blood and as well as in lymphoid tissues after they enter into the bloodstream.

The antigens must be present on the outside surface of the antigen-presenting cells (APCs) accompanied by the major histocompatibility complexes (MHC). As soon as T cells encounter an antigen, they increase and segregate into armed effector cells. The cytotoxic T cells of the cell-mediated immunity kill the infected cells by tempting the apoptosis. The T helper cells kindle plasma B cells to form the antibodies.

The main characteristic feature of the cell-mediated immunity is that it kills pathogens that are present inside of the cell, which includes all the viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and microbes.

Key Differences

  1. A type of adaptive immunity in which B cells release antibodies and mediated by macromolecules present in the extracellular fluid is known as humoral immunity. On the other hand, another type of adaptive immunity, which is mediated by stimulated antigen-specific is known as cell-mediated immunity.
  2. The B cells usually mediate the humoral immunity; on the contrary, the T cells often mediate the cell-mediated immunity.
  3. The humoral immunity performs on the extracellular microbes and their contaminants; on the flip side, the cell-mediated immunity performs on the intracellular microbes, for example, bacteria, viruses, tumor cells, and parasites.
  4. The receptors which are involved in the humoral immunity are BCR receptors; the receptors which are present in the cell-mediated immunity are TCR receptors.
  5. The cells which mediate the humoral immunity are B cells, T cells, and macrophages; in contrast, the cells which mediate the cell-mediated immunity are cytotoxic T cells, helper T cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells.
  6. The Igβ, Igα, CD40, Fc receptors, and CD21 are referred to as the accessory receptors of the humoral immunity; on the other hand, The CD28, CD8, CD2, CD3, CD4, and integrins are referred to as the accessory receptors of the cell-mediated immunity.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the humoral immunity produces antibodies through plasma T cells and destroys the extracellular cells, whereas the cell-mediated immunity attacks on the intracellular pathogens.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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