Cellular Processes and the Genetic Environment

A disease process can be explained at molecular, cellular, histological, organ, and organ system levels. In this biological hierarchy, the cellular and molecular processes contribute significantly to the development of disease at the advanced macroscopic levels. The role of the immune system must be considered when describing disease processes because immunity is the custodian of biological wellness at the cellular level. This paper aims to describe the association between the cellular processes and the genetic environment in normal bio-physiological processes and their interactions with the immune system in disease states.

Cellular Processes and Alterations Within Cellular Processes

Most cells in the human body communicate, grow and multiply in a well-organized fashion to contribute to the proper functioning of the tissues, organs, and organ systems. Cells communicate with each other through molecules and second messenger molecules within the cells. This communication enables the cells to respond to noxious stimuli and initiate death when programmed. Additionally, this communication also enables the cells to maintain a balanced internal and external homeostasis and regulate their growth. At the genetic level, these cells depend greatly on the master information and commands from the nucleic material from the nucleus and ribosomes to control cellular processes. How the cells react and normal and abnormal communication and growth depends on their genetic makeup. The role of mitochondria is vital in maintaining growth, metabolism, and cell death (Birsoy & Sancak, 2019). Cell division and energy production utilization require a normal mitochondrial functioning

Impact of The Genetic Environment on Disease

Genetic and epigenetic processes within the cell control the cellular processes. The cellular nucleus transcribes genetic information into the DNA through replication, after which the ribosomes will use this information to make proteins for intracellular and intercellular communication, growth, and multiplication. Therefore, alteration in the processes of gene transcription, DNA translation, and protein synthesis can cause ineffective communication, uncontrolled growth and multiplication, or even cell death. This can be explained by the impact of gene mutations on cancers and autoimmune diseases (Kumar et al., 2021). These genetic alterations and mutations can arise from the external environment through chemicals that interfere with the gene patterns leading to wrong communications and disordered growth.

Roles Genetics Plays in Disease Processes

Genetics plays an important role in the disease process because it will determine how the cell prepares for defense against disease or respond when these disease states occur. Faulty genetic sequences can be transcribed and translated to pathogenic proteins. The role of genetics in disease processes can be multifaceted in that genetic mutations, genetic susceptibility, and variations in genetic expressions can be implicated in various diseases. Ultimately, it all narrows down the gene transcription and translations to control communication growth and response to disease.

Cells and Disease

The basic units of life are the cells; thus, they are fundamental in disease states. At the cellular level, abnormalities in communications and signaling, disordered growth patterns, disruption of normal cellular metabolisms and respiration, and inadequate defense against noxious stimuli and damage are pathogenetic processes that lead to disease (McCance & Huether, 2019). The involvement of more cells leads to tissue pathology, which leads to organ damage and systemic disease when the damage advances. The central role in this cascade is attributed to the cells’ abilities to control and maintain their normal physiologic processes earlier described.

Altered Physiology

Derangements in the aforementioned processes lead to altered physiology. Cellular structure, gene expression, protein activity, and cell metabolism constitute the key physiological processes that maintain cellular and multisystem functioning (Birsoy & Sancak, 2019). Damage to cellular physical structure leads to poor communication and cellular response to the damage that constitutes the disease process. Faulty gene expression can lead to uncooled cell growth, as seen with cancers and benign neoplasms (Mbemi et al., 2020). Altered cell metabolisms lead to cell death through programmed (apoptosis) and non-programmed (necrosis) cell death deaths.

Alterations in the Immune System

When the immune cells fail to distinguish between the pathogen and host cells, it may attack the host cells leading to autoimmune disorders. The immune system can also respond aggressively or inappropriately to harmless antigens, leading to inflammation such as those seen in allergic processes. During inflammation, bystander cells can be destroyed in this normal body response to noxious stimuli. Altered cellular physiology and genetics can lead to deficiency in mounting immune responses such as inflammation or communication through cytokines and cell surface molecules.

Racial Variables

Races and ethnicities determine a people’s way of life, including marriages and, thus, inheritance of genes. Therefore, bad or mutated genes can be passed from one generation to the next in cases of intra-ethnic marriages. Races and ethnicities also determine a people’s health behavior and beliefs about illness. This affects their health-seeking behaviors and disease perceptions, thus poor health choices and low literacy levels. A race can be situated in a unit geographical area exposed to similar environmental factors such as air and water pollution and radiation that affect their genetic information leading to various illnesses.

Impact of Patient Characteristics on Disorders

Patient characteristics that can impact disorders and physiology include but are not limited to race, age, sex, and weight. As people age, their body physiology deteriorates as they enter advanced elderly states (McCance & Huether, 2019). Slow response to external disease stimulus contributes to the advancement of some diseases. Sometimes, the sex determines the occurrence of some disorders due to variations in biochemical makeup and qualities between the male and female sexes. Obesity is a key determinant for various chronic illnesses, especially cardiovascular diseases.

Association of Genes in the Development of Disease

. The famous saying that genes load the gun but the lifestyle and environment pull the trigger justifies the role of genetics in disease processes. The genetic makeup of a person makes them genetically susceptible to some illnesses (Tukker et al., 2021). Familial illnesses such as sickle cell anemia, familial hypercholesterolemia, and Tay Sachs disease, among others, rely on genetic inheritance patterns that make the biological offspring of affected people more susceptible to these diseases.

Immunosuppression and Its Body Systems Impact

Reduction in the body’s immune system’s capacity to fight off pathogens results in various disease processes. Radiation, infections, and certain genetic expressions can cause immunosuppression. Immunosuppression leads to increased incidence and recurrence of infections, decreased capacity to prevent neoplastic changes, and delayed healing processes and tissues. The immune system plays a critical role in fighting off neoplastic cells such as melanoma, lymphoma, and other malignancies (Kumar et al., 2021). Opportunistic diseases rely on immune system suppression by HIV viruses.

Conclusion

This paper has covered a variety of topics, including the role of genetics in disease development, the impact of patient characteristics on disorders and altered physiology, and the process of immunosuppression and its effects on the body. The evaluation of cellular processes and alterations have also been discussed. Understanding the complex relationships between genetics, disease, and the immune system is important in understanding disease processes and interventions to prevent these diseases.

References

Birsoy, K., & Sancak, Y. (2019). The role of metabolism in cellular processes. Molecular Biology of the Cell30(6), 733. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E19-01-0004

Kumar, V., Abbas, A. K., & Aster, J. C. (2021). Robbins Basic Pathology (V. Kumar, A. K. Abbas, & J. C. Aster, Eds.; 10th ed.). Elsevier – Health Sciences Division.

Mbemi, A., Khanna, S., Njiki, S., Yedjou, C. G., & Tchounwou, P. B. (2020). Impact of gene-environment interactions on cancer development. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health17(21), 8089. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218089

McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). Mosby.

Tukker, A. M., Royal CD, Bowman, A. B., & McAllister, K. A. (2021). The Impact of Environmental Factors on Monogenic Mendelian Diseases. Toxicological Sciences : An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology181(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfab022

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