antibody

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antibody,

protein produced by the immune system (see immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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) in response to the presence in the body of antigens: foreign proteins or polysaccharides such as bacteria, bacterial toxinstoxin,
poison produced by living organisms. Toxins are classified as either exotoxins or endotoxins. Exotoxins are a diverse group of soluble proteins released into the surrounding tissue by living bacterial cells. Exotoxins have specific reaction sites in the host; e.g.
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, viruses, or other cells or proteins. Such antigens are capable of inflicting damage by chemically combining with natural substances in the body and disrupting the body's processes. The body contains hundreds of thousands of different white blood cells called B lymphocytes, each capable of producing one type of antibody and each bearing sites on its membrane that will bind with a specific antigen. When such a binding occurs, it triggers the B lymphocyte to reproduce itself, forming a cloneclone,
group of organisms, all of which are descended from a single individual through asexual reproduction, as in a pure cell culture of bacteria. Except for changes in the hereditary material that come about by mutation, all members of a clone are genetically identical.
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 that manufactures vast amounts of its antibody.

The antibody molecule is composed of four polypeptide chains (see peptidepeptide,
organic compound composed of amino acids linked together chemically by peptide bonds. The peptide bond always involves a single covalent link between the α-carboxyl (oxygen-bearing carbon) of one amino acid and the amino nitrogen of a second amino acid.
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)—two identical light chains and two identical heavy chains—joined by disulfide bridges. The light chains have a variable portion that is different in each type of antibody and is the active portion of the molecule that binds with the specific antigen. Antibodies combine with some antigens, such as bacterial toxins, and neutralize their effect; they remove other substances from circulation in body fluids; they bind certain antigens together, a process known as agglutination; and they activate complement, blood serum proteins that cause the destruction of invading cells.

See also monoclonal antibodymonoclonal antibody,
an antibody that is mass produced in the laboratory from a single clone and that recognizes only one antigen. Monoclonal antibodies are typically made by fusing a normally short-lived, antibody-producing B cell (see immunity) to a fast-growing cell, such as
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.

Antibody

A protein found principally in blood serum and characterized by a specific reactivity with the corresponding antigen. Antibodies are important in resistance against disease, in allergy, and in blood transfusions, and can be utilized in laboratory tests for the detection of antigens or the estimation of immune status.

Antibodies are normally absent at birth unless derived passively from the mother through the placenta or colostrum. In time, certain antibodies appear in response to environmental antigens. Antibodies are also induced by artificial immunization with vaccines or following natural infections. The resulting antibody level declines over a period of months, but rapidly increases following renewed contact with specific antigen, even after a lapse of years. This is known as an anamnestic or booster response. See Allergy, Blood groups, Hypersensitivity, Isoantigen, Vaccination

Antibody reactivity results in precipitation of soluble antigens, agglutination of particulate antigens, increased phagocytosis of bacteria, neutralization of toxins, and dissolution of bacterial or other cells specifically sensitive to their action; the antibodies so revealed are termed precipitins, agglutinins, opsonins, antitoxins, and lysins. One antibody may give many such reactions, depending on conditions, so these classifications are not unique or exclusive.

Three principal groups (IgG, IgM, IgA) and two minor groups (IgD, IgE) of antibodies are recognized. These all form part of the wider classification of immunoglobulins. Antibody diversity is generated by amino acid substitutions that result in unique antigen-binding structures. See Cellular Immunology, Immunoglobulin

The development of the technology for producing monoclonal antibodies, which can bind to specific sites on target antigens, revolutionized the uses of antibodies in biology and medicine. Unfortunately, almost all monoclonal antibodies originate in mice, and the murine immunoglobulin serves as an antigen, frequently acting immunogenic in human recipients. See Antigen, Monoclonal antibodies

antibody

[′an·tə‚bäd·ē]
(immunology)
A protein, found principally in blood serum, originating either normally or in response to an antigen and characterized by a specific reactivity with its complementary antigen. Also known as immune body.

antibody

any of various proteins produced in the blood in response to the presence of an antigen. By becoming attached to antigens on infectious organisms antibodies can render them harmless or cause them to be destroyed
References in periodicals archive ?
The Prevalence of Anticardiolipin Antibody in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Its Association with clinical Manifestations.
Hryhorczuk, "Detection of anticardiolipin antibody in patients with cocaine abuse," Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol.
Anticardiolipin antibody assay: a methodological analysis for a better consensus in routine determinations: a cooperative project of the European Antiphospholipid Forum.
A longitudinal study of anticardiolipin antibody in polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis.
Anticardiolipin antibody levels were high; IgG (+): 57 GPL U/ml ( less than 12 negative), IgM (+): 120 MPL U/ ml ( less than 12 negative).
Results remained essentially unchanged after we categorized patient data according to clearly negative anticardiolipin antibody results [<10 kilounits/L; n = 4144 (87.1%)], equivocal results [10-15 kilounits/L; n = 272 (5.7%)], and positive anti-cardiolipin antibody [>15 kilounits/ L; n = 340 (7.1%); see Table 1 in the Data Supplement that accompanies the online version of this article at http://www.clinchem.org/content/vol52/issue6/].
It is diagnosed by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, such as anticardiolipin antibody or lupus anticoagulant.
Anticardiolipin antibody assay: a methodological analysis for a better consensus in routine determinations-a cooperative project of the European Anti phospholipid Forum.
The latter include positivity (on two or more occasions, [greater than or equal to] 6 weeks apart) of either lupus anticoagulant or anticardiolipin antibody (ACA).
Variability of anticardiolipin antibody isotype distribution in 3 geographic populations of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Anti-annexin V antibody in systemic lupus erythematosus patients with lupus anticoagulant and/or anticardiolipin antibody. Am J Hematol 1994;47:56-8.
Evaluation of the anticardiolipin antibody test: report of an international workshop held 4 April 1986.