gamma globulin(redirected from gammopathy)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
gamma globulin,a group of globulinglobulin,
any of a large family of proteins of a spherical or globular shape that are widely distributed throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Many of them have been prepared in pure crystalline form.
..... Click the link for more information. proteins in human blood plasma, including most antibodiesantibody,
protein produced by the immune system (see immunity) in response to the presence in the body of antigens: foreign proteins or polysaccharides such as bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, or other cells or proteins.
..... Click the link for more information. . These antibody substances are produced as a protective reaction of the body's immune system to the invasion of disease-producing organisms (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.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Injections of gamma globulin are used to create a rapid but temporary immunity in patients who have been exposed to certain diseases. Children who have been exposed to, but are not immunized against, measlesmeasles
, highly contagious disease of young children, caused by a filterable virus and spread by droplet spray from the nose, mouth, and throat of individuals in the infective stage.
..... Click the link for more information. and patients with hepatitishepatitis
, inflammation of the liver. There are many types of hepatitis. Causes include viruses, toxic chemicals, alcohol consumption, parasites and bacteria, and certain drugs.
..... Click the link for more information. receive some protection from gamma globulin when it is administered during the incubation period of the infection. The gamma globulin used for such purposes is extracted from blood plasma from a large, diverse adult population; the resulting mixture is thus likely to contain antibodies from individuals who had been exposed to the appropriate infections.
a fraction of globulins in blood plasma containing the most antibodies. In comparison with other protein fractions of the blood, gamma globulin has the slowest electrophoretic mobility. Gamma globulin is obtained either from the blood of donors or from blood from the placenta. So-called specific gamma globulin with an especially high content of antibodies to specific pathogens is isolated from the serum of humans or animals that have been immunized with the corresponding antigens. For example, anti-whooping-cough gamma globulin is prepared from the serum of humans hyperimmunized with whooping-cough vaccine; antirabies gamma globulin comes from the serum of horses hyperimmunized against rabies. Concentrated solutions of gamma globulin contain considerably more antibodies than the initial serums. In the USSR gamma globulin is produced in the form of a 10 percent solution (introduced intramuscularly). Gamma globulin is used for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases mainly in children (measles, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, epidemic hepatitis, and other diseases). Gamma globulin also has a certain nonspecific (stimulating) effect and for this reason it is prescribed for children with chronic inflammations, decline in appetite, and so on.