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Immunoglobulin

Related Terms

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Background

  • Immunoglobulins (Ig) are glycoprotein molecules that function as antibodies. Since antibodies are present in the bloodstream or bound to cell membranes, they are considered to be a part of the humoral immune system.
  • During an immune response, immunoglobulins bind to specific antigens (any foreign substance that is capable of inducing an immune response). Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander and fungus. Once the antibodies attach to the antigen, leukocytes (white blood cells) destroy the antigen.
  • There are five classes of immunoglobulins - IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM.
  • Antibodies are usually specific to each type of foreign substance. For example, antibodies produced in response to a tuberculosis infection attach only to tuberculosis bacteria. Antibodies are also involved in allergic reactions.

Isotypes (Types of Immunoglobulin)

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Types of Allergic Reactions

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Development

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Structure

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Functions

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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.