09 9 / 2012

This photo is a molecular representation of an antibody. Antibodies are proteins produced by B cells of the immune system. Initially, their function was defined as distinguishing self antigens from non-self antigens. However, this definition was refined to describe their function as distinguishing harmful foreign antigens.
Each individual produces millions of antibodies and each of these has two arms (upper part of photo) which are highly specific against a particular type of antigen. This therefore equips the immune system with a defence that is both broad and specific. The arm pictured in the bottom end of this photo is able to attach itself to cells of the immune system, allowing them to come closer to pathogens and triggering them to defend the body.
Antibodies can neutralize toxins, enhance phagocytosis of pathogens by opsonization, activate components of the complement system which is involved in defence and much more. In autoimmune diseases, antibodies play a role by recognizing self antigens (eg the fatty insulation around our neurons) or non-harmful, non-self/foreign antigens (eg pollen). This leads to the inappropriate activation of the immune system.
This photo is a courtesy of science photo library

This photo is a molecular representation of an antibody. Antibodies are proteins produced by B cells of the immune system. Initially, their function was defined as distinguishing self antigens from non-self antigens. However, this definition was refined to describe their function as distinguishing harmful foreign antigens.

Each individual produces millions of antibodies and each of these has two arms (upper part of photo) which are highly specific against a particular type of antigen. This therefore equips the immune system with a defence that is both broad and specific. The arm pictured in the bottom end of this photo is able to attach itself to cells of the immune system, allowing them to come closer to pathogens and triggering them to defend the body.

Antibodies can neutralize toxins, enhance phagocytosis of pathogens by opsonization, activate components of the complement system which is involved in defence and much more. In autoimmune diseases, antibodies play a role by recognizing self antigens (eg the fatty insulation around our neurons) or non-harmful, non-self/foreign antigens (eg pollen). This leads to the inappropriate activation of the immune system.

This photo is a courtesy of science photo library

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