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B-Cell Differentiation – Lymphocyte Activation

by Peter Delves, PhD
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    Because lymphocytes recombine their antigen receptor genes in a random way, it means that we can produce millions and millions and millions of different B-cell receptors on the surface of B-cells; and millions and millions of different T-cell receptors on the surface of the T-cells. So that’s great, means that whatever pathogen comes along, if some new pathogen arises or if an existing pathogen undergoes mutation and changes its antigens, we should have some lymphocytes that have an antigen receptor specific for that particular pathogen. However, that comes at a price. This huge diversity of T-cells and huge diversity of B-cells means that for any given single pathogen, we don’t have millions and millions and millions of cells. We may only have a few hundred or a few thousand. It’s actually not enough to do the job of getting rid of the infection. So there’s a problem there. So how does the immune system get around that problem? Well, it does it by clonally selecting the B-cells and the T-cells that are required, then activating them and causing them to divide and divide and divide. So that particular specificity will expand up. So rather than having just a few thousand, let’s say T-cells and B-cells against Streptococcus for example; rather than just having a few thousand, you end up with millions, and that is enough to do the job that’s needed to eliminate the infection. So clonal selection of lymphocytes is key to the way in which the adaptive immune response functions. So here we have a B-cell in the middle, say five different B-cells with five different specificities of B-cell receptor. And this one is specific for that particular virus that we can see there. And it will become activated by the mechanisms that we’ve just reviewed, and part...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture B-Cell Differentiation – Lymphocyte Activation by Peter Delves, PhD is from the course Adaptive Immune System. It contains the following chapters:

    • Clonal Selection of B-Cells
    • B-Cell Differentiation
    • Memory Cells

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. ...is of greater magnitude.
    2. ...is slower to be initiated.
    3. ...is less specific.
    4. ...involves B-cells but not T-cells.
    5. ...cannot generate memory cells.
    1. Recognize a wide variety of antigens and produce a tailored response to that antigen
    2. ...ensure that it does not recognize self antigens.
    3. ...respond to pathogens it has encountered before.
    4. ...constantly produce antibodies to any antigen humans can encounter.
    5. ...immediately respond to antigens that it encounters.
    1. Plasma cell- antibody secretion, Memory B cells- secondary immune response
    2. Plasma cell- antibody secretion, Naive B cell- antigen recognition
    3. Memory B cells- antibody secretion, Plasma cells- secondary immune response
    4. Plasma cell- antibody secretion, Monocytes- phagocytosis
    5. Memory B cells- secondary immune response, Dendritic cells- antigen presentation
    1. They are responsible for mounting the secondary immune response, which is qualitatively and quantitatively superior to the primary immune response
    2. They ensure that B cell differentiation is efficient and rapid
    3. They recruit T cells to help respond to antigens
    4. They secrete cytokines which cause the naive B cells to differentiate into a specific antigen target
    5. They secrete antibodies which are capable of binding the antigen they encounter and mounting a secondary immune response

    Author of lecture B-Cell Differentiation – Lymphocyte Activation

     Peter Delves, PhD

    Peter Delves, PhD


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