Antibodies, or immunoglobulins, are produced by the ‘humoral’ response of the immune system to an antigen, a substance (usually protein or carbohydrate) which provokes the immune mechanism to neutralize it.
http://www.antibodyresource.com/antibody-recognition.html “The humoral immune system is a well designed fortress that defends its host against foreign invasion. The sentinels of this fortress are macrophages that continually roam the bloodstream of their host. When challenged by infection or immunization, macrophages respond by engulfing invaders marked with foreign molecules (antigens). This event, mediated by helper T cells, sets forth a complicated chain of responses that results in the stimulation of B-cells. These B-cells, in turn, produce proteins called antibodies which bind to the foreign invader. The binding event between antibody and antigen marks the foreign invader for destruction via phagocytosis or activation of the complement system.”
http://legacy.lclark.edu/~reiness/immuno/lectures/Antigen.pdf A difference is noted between an ‘antigen’ and an ‘immunogen’ given that some antigens (haptens) are ‘too small’ to provoke an immune response “unless coupled to a larger molecule;…the hapten is an antigen, but not an immunogen; only the hapten-carrier complex is immunogenic.”
“ABO blood group antigens were discovered by Karl Landsteinerover a century ago on human red cells. Since then, they havebeen evidenced on many other cell types and have been foundto be secreted in biological fluids of humans as well as ofmany animal species….The ABO and related antigens are carbohydrates that correspond to terminal structures of glycan chains of glycolipids and glycoproteins on cell surfaces and are also found as free oligosaccharides in some biological fluids, such as milk.” http://glycob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/13/12/919
“Once created in response to an antigen, an antibody continues to resist that foreign molecule. This allows our bodies to fight off diseases that previously afflicted us, without getting sick again. For example, most people will only contract chickenpox once in their lifetime, no matter how often they are exposed to the disease. This phenomenon is also what makes vaccinations possible. A vaccine is an injection of killed or weakened virus that stimulates the production of antibodies when introduced into the body.
“Antibodies have many useful purposes, in addition to protection against disease. They can be used to diagnose a wide variety of illnesses, as well as to detect the presence of abnormal substances in the blood, such as drugs, viruses, and bacterial products. In order to be used for diagnostic and detection purposes, antibodies that bind specifically to the virus, bacteria or drug of interest are necessary.
“When an antigen is introduced into the body, however, a variety of different antibodies are synthesized. The antigen binds to receptors on the surface of B cells, stimulating those cells to produce antibodies specific to the antigen. When seeking out its target, the antibody binds to a site on the antigen known as the epitope. Although each antibody can only bind to one specific epitope, a single antigen may have several effective epitopes, thereby initiating responses from several different B cells. The antibodies produced are referred to as polyclonal antibodies (Campbell 1996).
“Until the late 1970s, these polyclonal antibodies, obtained from the blood serum of immunized animals, provided the only source of antibodies for research or treatment of disease. Isolation of specific antibodies was essentially impossible, until 1975, when Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein discovered how to make monoclonal antibodies from hybridomas (Janeway and Travers 1994). Hybridomas are hybrid cells that have inherited some characteristics of both parent cells.”
“Kohler and Milstein created hybridomas by fusing malignant myeloma [cancer] cells with antibody-producing B cells (Figure 2). The myeloma cells have the ability to replicate indefinitely and are clonogenic–they will form clones when grown in vitro. They selected B cells which produced a specific antibody. By fusing these two cell types, they could obtain cells selected for both immortality and production of the specific antibody of interest (Sikora and Smedley).“
“How Vaccininations Work” http://www.ei-resource.org/articles/gulf-war-syndrome-articles/how-vaccinations-work-/
How Your Gut Flora Directs Your Immune System
There are two primary “arms” in your immune system:
- Th1 immunity is responsible for normal reactions to anything in your environment, from pollen to animal dandruff, dust mites, chemicals, food and anything else you come into contact with. Th1 is kept robust and healthy by your gut flora. As long as your gut flora is normal, you will have no adverse symptoms when exposed to these types of environmental influences, but if your gut flora is abnormal, your Th1 become increasingly disabled
- Th2 immunity is designed to address immune functions inside your body, and is not equipped to handle environmental influences. However, it will try to compensate if your Th1 becomes disabled. Unfortunately, since it’s not properly equipped for this job, it ends up dealing with environmental influences like pollen and foods in an inappropriate way; the end result of which is allergies and intolerances.
…Once your gut lining begins to deteriorate, these disease-causing agents can be easily absorbed into your bloodstream and circulated throughout your body. Some of them have affinities for certain proteins, and will attach themselves to them. When that happens, it changes the three-dimensional shape of that protein molecule. When your immune system comes across this foreign-looking protein, it will attack it and begin producing antibodies against it.
“What people have to understand is that we all – 100 percent of humans – have in our bodies antibodies to deal with multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, or any other autoimmune condition,” Dr. McBride says….‘you have to focus on… normalizing your gut flora. You have to drive out the pathogens from the gut flora and replace them with the beneficial flora. Then a lot of healing will happen…’http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/12/dr-campbell-mcbride-on-gaps.aspx?e_cid=20120520_SNL_MV_1____________________________________________________________________
T cells and B cells:
“T cells or T lymphocytes belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity [called Th1]. They can be distinguished from other lymphocytes, such as B cells and natural killer cells (NK cells), by the presence of a T cell receptor(TCR) on the cell surface. They are called T cells because they mature in the thymus, and thus, can also be called thymocytes. There are several subsets of T cells, each with a distinct function.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cell
“B cells are lymphocytes that play a large role in the humoral immune response [called Th2](as opposed to the cell-mediated immune response, which is governed by T cells [called Th1]). The principal functions of B cells are to make antibodies against antigens, perform the role of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and eventually develop into memory B cells after activation by antigen interaction. B cells are an essential component of the adaptive immune system.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_cell
“[Michael] Heidelberger… elucidate[d] the fact that antibodies, protein molecules that react with a specific antigen, were directed not against an antigen as a whole, but against particular chemical groupings (later called antigenic determinants) on the surface of the antigen to which antibodies bind. Heidelberger thus showed that the specificity of antigens and antibodies–that is, the correlation between a particular kind of antigen and the single kind of antibody whose synthesis it induces (out of more than a million different kinds known today)–was based not on general biological characteristics, as earlier generations of immunologists had concluded, but upon a precisely defined feature of the antigen’s chemistry. Although the exact chemical mechanism of attachment of specific antigen to specific antibody was not discovered until the 1950s, Heidelberger’s findings explained why certain microorganisms were particularly pathogenic, and why recovery depended on the appearance in patients’ serum of antibodies specific for the antigens of the infecting microorganism.” http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/DH/Views/Exhibit/narrative/rockefeller.html
http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/blood/audio/1970v.9-specificity.html Linus Pauling :“The antibodies are protein molecules which have a region which is complimentary in structure to the antigen…. it is the shape factor that’s responsible for the specificity.”
“In 1936, Pauling lectured at the Rockefeller Institute on hemoglobin. Responding to a note from Landsteiner (about whom he knew mainly because Landsteiner had received a Nobel Prize 5 years earlier), Pauling listened while Landsteiner raised puzzling questions about antibodies: How did their great diversity arise, and what was the molecular basis for their specificity? What were the physical-chemical forces that led to their specific reaction with antigens? How could the immune system tailor these antibody proteins to recognize a myriad of molecules the body never before encountered? Pauling could not enlighten any of these questions, but they piqued his interest. He bought a copy of Landsteiner’s book, the brand new 1936 edition, read it on the train, and arrived in Pasadena an enthusiast. He soon had a rough draft of a manuscript about how an antibody might be formed and the physical-chemical basis of its specific reaction with antigen”. http://www.genetics.org/cgi/reprint/155/3/995.pdf
New Synthetic Antibodies May Be Effective Sensors, Countermeasures for Chemical Warfare Agents
The Human Immune System http://www.answers.com/topic/immune-system
The Lymphatic System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphatic_system
“Exposure to radiation or chemotherapy will kill many of the rapidly dividing cells of the bone marrow and will therefore result in a depressed immune system. Many of the symptoms of radiation sickness are due to damage to the bone marrow cells.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_marrow
“Toward Electronically Coupled Bio-Inorganic Conjugates” http://www.electrochem.org/dl/ma/205/pdfs/0642.PDF