Chapter17 - Antigens and Antibodies Chapter 17...

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11/23/09 1 Chapter 17 Adaptive Immunity: Specific Defenses of the Host Antigens and Antibodies Antigens (word made from antibody generators) Substances that cause production of antibodies Usually, proteins or large polysaccharides Antibodies Proteins that bind antigens Antibody Structure Y-shaped, with two antigen-binding sites Y arms are variable Stem region is constant (same in all) Stem can attach to WBC or complement Binding Sites Shape of antibody binding site complements antigen shape More than 100 million pocket shapes are present in each person! Specificity Antibodies recognize shapes with very fine distinction For example, they can distinguish between the viruses of chickenpox and measles Classes of Immunoglobulins IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE All have different functions IgM combines five Y-shaped proteins, and IgA combines two
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11/23/09 2 Immunoglobulin Functions IgG: Most common form in serum; neutralizes bacteria, viruses and toxins in blood and tissue fluid IgM: Good at agglutination; stays in blood
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