Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins (Ig), are large, Y-shaped proteins that are generated by the immune system to identify and neutralize harmful substances or pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses. They are produced by B cells and in large volumes by plasma cells. To start secreting antibodies into the plasma, B cells must be stimulated by binding their specific antigen as well as receiving help from a helper T cell.

Researchers can also create specific antibodies that bind to any known protein by injecting it into a mammal so that the animal generates the desired antibodies to be used for research purposes. Follow the next links for further details:

There are five classes, or isotypes, of antibodies - namely IgM, IgG, IgA, IgD, IgE.

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References:

  • OpenStax College, Biology OpenStax CNX. 30 May 2015