Antibodies are specialized proteins that are produced by the body to bind to foreign substances that infect the body. They identify and neutralize antigens such as bacteria and viruses, protecting the body against disease. They are large, Y-shaped proteins that can tag bacteria or viruses for attack by other antibodies. Without antibodies we would be constantly sick as our body would have no way of fighting of infectious antigens. How are these important proteins produced? Read on to find out.
The Production of Antibodies
Antibodies are produced by the body’s humoral immune system. There are particular types of white blood cells, called plasma cells, which are responsible for the production of antibody proteins. There are two different types of antibodies, soluble antibodies and membrane-bound antibodies. The membrane-bound antibodies are attached to special cells called B-cells. These antibodies are responsible for remembering particular pathogens and keeping the body immune to that bacteria or virus. B-cells can be used as memory cells or can be activated to produce more plasma cells to create additional antibodies. The antibodies that are bonded to the surface of the B-cell activate it when new threats are identified. Soluble antibodies are present in the blood and tissue fluids and they find and identify new bacteria and viruses. There are five different antibody isotypes that are responsible for different parts of the immune system reaction to foreign matter.