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IMMUNOGLOBULIN PRODUCTION - B-cell will differentiate into...

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IMMUNOGLOBULIN PRODUCTION The production of immunoglobulins by B-cells or plasma cells occurs in different stages. During differentiation of the B-cells from precursor stem cells, rearrangement, recombination and mutation of the immunoglobulin V, D, and J regions occurs to produce functional VJ (light chain) and VDJ (heavy chain) genes. At this point, the antigen specificity of the mature B-cell has been determined. Each cell can make only one heavy chain and one light chain, although the isotype of the heavy chain may change. Initially, a mature B-cell will produce primarily IgD (and some membrane IgM) that will migrate to the cell surface to act as the antigen receptor. Upon stimulation by antigen, the
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Unformatted text preview: B-cell will differentiate into a plasma cell expressing large amounts of secreted IgM. Some cells will undergo a "class switch" during which a rearrangement of the DNA will occur, placing the VDJ gene next to the genes encoding the IgG, IgE or IgA constant regions. Upon secondary induction (i.e. the secondary response), these B-cells will differentiate into plasma cells expressing the new isotype. Most commonly, this results in a switch from IgM (primary response) to IgG (secondary response). The factors that lead to production of IgE or IgA instead of IgG are not well understood....
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