Sources Of Antibodies

Antibodies are synthesized by lymphocytes. Lymphocytes may be T (= thymus)-processed or B (= bone marrow)-processed. Antibodies are made by B-lymphocytes and exist in two forms, either membrane bound or secreted. B-lymphocytes use membrane-bound antibody to interact with antigens. A B-cell makes antibodies all of the same specificity, i.e., able to react with the same antigenic determinants; its progeny (as a consequence of mitotic division) are referred to as a clone. The clone will continue making antibody of the same specificity. Simultaneously, there will be many other clones of different specificity. This is known as a polyclonal response. Antigens have determinants called epitopes. Epitopes are molecular shapes recognized by antibodies, which recognize one epitope rather than whole antigen. Antigens may be proteins, lipids, or carbohydrates, and an antigen may consist of many different epitopes and/or may have many repeated epitopes.

B-lymphocytes evolve into plasma cells under the influence of T-cell released cytokines. Plasma cells secrete antibodies in greater amounts but do not divide. They exist in lymphoid tissues, not blood. Other B-cells circulate as memory cells.

Table 2

Receptors for the Constant (Fc) Region of IgG

Table 2

Receptors for the Constant (Fc) Region of IgG

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