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B-cells

Related Terms

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Background

  • The white blood cells that are involved in an acquired immune response are called lymphocytes. There are two types of lymphocytes - B-cells and T-cells. Both of these cells are continually produced in the bone marrow.
  • These cells are not involved in the immune response until they are fully developed. The B-cells mature in the bone marrow, while T-cells migrate through the bloodstream and mature in the thymus gland.
  • B-cells help fight against bacteria and viruses that enter the body. They are able to detect and bind to specific foreign invaders (antigens) that enter the body. This triggers other immune cells to destroy the antigen. Naïve B-cells are B-cells that have not encountered an antigen yet. Once a B-cell has been exposed to an antigen, it is called a plasma cell.
  • The plasma cell secretes proteins called antibodies on its surface. There are five classes of antibodies (also called immunoglobulins): immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin D (IgD), immunoglobulin E (IgE), immunoglobulin G (IgG), and immunoglobulin M (IgM). Each antibody is specific for a certain antigen.
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Types of B-Cells

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Development and Function

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Antigen Recognition

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T-Cell Dependent Activation

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T-Cell Independent Activation

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.