By Paul F. Torrence
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Additional resources for Biological Response Modifiers: New Approaches to Disease Intervention
The immunoglobulin receptors on any given Β cell are identical in structure, and therefore are identical in binding specificity. Immunoglobulins that bind specific antigen are also excreted and can be of one of five " i s o t y p e ' ' classes: IgM, IgG, IgE, IgD, an IgA. The structure of IgG is given in Fig. 3. The basic unit of immunoglobulin structure consists of four polypeptides, two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains joined by disulfide bonds. The immunoglobulin classes differ in the type of heavy chain present (μ, γ , e, δ, and a ) , whereas the light chains are always one of two types: κ or λ.
Because lymphocytes develop in bone m a r r o w and thymus, these are referred to as central lymphoid tissues. Peripheral (or secondary) lymphoid tissues, where lymphocytes react with antigen and become " a c t i v a t e d , " in- hematopoietic stem cells lymphocytes Τ cells myeloid stem cell Β cells erythrocytes granulocytes megakaryocytes/ platelets eosinophils monocytes/ macrophages Fig. 1 Ontogeny of lymphoid cells. mast cells 2. Basic Concepts of Immunity 25 elude the spleen, lymph nodes, appendix, Peyer's patches in the small intestine, tonsils, a n d adenoids.
T h r o u g h receptors on its surface, the Κ cell binds the Fc portion of the antibody (IgG) molecule. The antigen on the target cell is b o u n d by the antigen-binding site of the antibody. Nonspecific bridging, as achieved by covalently coating the target with nonspecific IgG or chemically crosslinking the Κ and target cells, does not result in killing. Evidence exists that different K-cell populations are specific for different target cells. 2 . Natural Killer Cells Natural killer cells (NK cells) also directly attack certain cells and are believed to play an important role in our i m m u n e surveillance against cancer.