Specific Immunity. Who are the players?. Antigens: foreign proteins, usually part of virus or bacteria
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Antigens: foreign proteins, usually part of virus or bacteria
Antibodies: Proteins made by immune cells that “recognize” or bind with particular antigens. Original diversity of antibody-producing cells depends on recombination of genetic sequences during cell development
Macrophages: phagocytic cells in blood)
Cytotoxic T-cells: “killer” white blood cells
Helper T-cells: present antigens so that good “match” can be found among antibody-making cells
B-cells: recognize antigens and make antibodies
MHC: Major Histocompatiblity Complex—allows body to recognize own cells so that their proteins don’t trigger immune response, also important in clonal selection
Clonal selection: process by which B and T-cells that make antibodies that recognize body’s own antigens (“autoantigen”) are eliminated during development.
Proteins (or sometimes carbs) that are recognized (glom onto) specific antibody
Exogenous antigens: On outside or free of pathogen
Endogenous antigens: From pathogens that live and reproduce inside host cell. Immune cells can only see these antigens when they are “presented” on surface of host cell surface, incorporated into cell membrane
Auto-antigens: Body’s own antigens. Immune cells that recognize these antigens are eliminated during immune system development (by antibody editing or clonal selection/deletion—more below)
Each antibody has specific antigen binding site formed by variable regions of heavy and light amino acid chains. Variation among antibodies in these binding sites comes from random recombination from billions of possible DNA/gene combinations.
Rest of heavy and light chains are constant giving antibodies their characteristic shape and function