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glossary:antibody [2008/05/14 04:21]
Pat O'Connor
glossary:antibody [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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 +====== Antibody: ======
 + ​[[Protein]] in the [[blood]] that defends against invading foreign agents, such as [[bacteria]];​ invading agents contain certain chemical substances called [[antigen]]s – each antibody works against a specific antigen. ​
 +(2) An immunoglobulin,​ a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introduction of an antigen into the body, and which possesses the remarkable ability to combine with the very antigen that triggered its production. ​
 +The production of antibodies is a major function of the [[immune system]] and is carried out by a type of [[white blood cells|white blood cell]] called a [[B cell]] (B [[lymphocyte]]). Antibodies can be triggered by and directed at foreign proteins, [[microorganism]]s,​ or toxins. Some antibodies are autoantibodies and home in against our own tissues. ​
 +The term "​antibody"​ dates to 1901. Prior to that time, an "​antibody"​ referred to any of a host of different substances that served as "​bodies"​ (foot soldiers) in the fight against infection and its ill effects.
glossary/antibody.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)