Humoral Immunity: Antibodies and Immune Response

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What is the physiologic function of humoral immunity?

Defense against extracellular microbes and microbial toxins

Which type of immunity is mediated by T lymphocytes?

Cell-mediated immunity

What types of microorganisms are combated by humoral immunity?

Extracellular bacteria, fungi, and even obligate intracellular microbes

Defects in antibody production can result in increased susceptibility to infection with which types of microbes?

Bacteria, fungi, and viruses

Apart from their protective roles, how can antibodies be harmful?

Mediate tissue injury in allergic individuals, autoimmune diseases, blood transfusion reactions, and transplant rejection

Which form of adaptive immunity can be transferred from immunized to naive individuals with serum that contains antibodies?

Humoral immunity

What are the main functions of antibodies?

To neutralize and eliminate infectious microbes and microbial toxins

Where are antibodies produced in mucosal organs such as the intestine and the airways?

In the lamina propria

Which two enzymes can be used to identify the different functional parts of antibodies?

Papain and pepsin

What does the term 'affinity' refer to in the context of immunoglobulins?

The individual interaction of antibody and antigen

Which cells differentiate in germinal centers of lymph nodes by isotype switching into plasma cells that secrete IgA, IgG, or IgE?

Mature B cells

What instructs the B lymphocyte to undergo isotype switching, changing the heavy-chain constant domains to classes of antibodies with new and different effector functions?

Helper T cells

What happens to the excised DNA during isotype switching in B lymphocytes?

It gets degraded

Why is IgM the principal immunoglobulin of the primary immune response?

Because it is replaced in later responses by antibodies of different isotypes

When are IgM antibodies occasionally produced during secondary and later immunologic responses?

At low levels

What does idiotype refer to in the context of antibody molecules?

The unique variable regions determining antigenic specificity

Test your knowledge on humoral immunity, including primary and secondary immune responses, antibodies, and class switching. Learn about the physiologic function of humoral immunity in defense against extracellular microbes and microbial toxins.

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