Antibody Secretion

Published: 21st May 2010
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When an immunogen or antigen enters our blood stream, the immune system of the body can respond through Humoral type responses (antibody production) and Cell-mediated responses.

Antigens are foreign molecules usually made of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and/or carbohydrates that are capable of inducing an immune response in the body. When the immune system detects these antigens, antibody secretion takes place.

The mammalian immune system has cells called lymphocytes, each of which has its specific antigen-receptor characteristic. This specificity allows lymphocytes to generate immune responses to various types of antigen.

The humoral response or antibody secretion is carried out by B lymphocytes that have specific immunoglobulin receptors on their surface. When an immunogen stimulates the immune system of the body, plasma cells that have differentiated from B lymphocytes secrete antibodies in the blood stream.

Every antibody molecule has the ability to recognize a specific site, called epitope, (monosaccharide units or chain of 5-6 amino acids) on the antigen and bind to it. Antibodies have been used by medical researchers in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.

Polyclonal antibodies are the ones developed from different clonal populations with specificity to various epitopes on one antibody molecule. These antibodies are effective against a wide variety of pathogens. However, they are very difficult to produce. The amount and quantity of polyclonal antisera obtained varies with each animal and even in the same animal over a span of time. Thus, the availability polyclonal antibodies is limited and its nature is subject to change even during the process of production.

Monoclonal antibodies are derived from only one clone and have one specific epitope. To produce monoclonal antibodies, you need to immunize an animal, such as, mouse and then collect the immune cells from the spleen of that animal. They can also be produced using in-vitro cell culture techniques. Under favorable conditions, unlimited production of monoclonal antibodies is possible.

Article by Jenny, content writer at Inter-Dev SEO Israel, On behalf of drug delivery systems

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