Lymphocytes The primary agents of the immune response are lymphocytes, white blood cells (leukocytes) that originate in the bone marrow (like all blood cells) but concentrate in lymphoid tissues such as the lymph nodes, the thymus gland, and the spleen. When lymphocytes mature, they become immunocompetent, or capable of binding with a specific antigen. An immunocompetent lymphocyte displays unique proteins on its plasma membrane that act as antigen receptors. Because all of the antigen receptors of an individual lymphocyte are identical, only a specific antigen can bind to an individual lymphocyte. The kind of antigen receptors displayed by a particular lymphocyte is determined by somatic recombination, a shuffling of gene segments during lymphocyte maturation. By mixing gene segments, more than one billion different antigen receptors can be generated. Here are the various kinds of lymphocytes:
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cells, Bone marrow, antigen receptors, immunocompetent, bone marrow.