Reflections on the Physiology of B Lymphocytes
Bone-marrow derived lymphocytes have been said to be the best known cells of the vertebrate body. The purpose of this article is not to review, even in a cursory way, the vast body of knowledge that has accumulated on the function of these cells, but rather to discuss some critical points of their physiology in a way that might help the students of this course in framing their own views of how B lymphocytes react to antigens and ultimately mature into antibody-secreting cells. In particular I shall discuss the relationship of the physiology of B lymphocytes with that of the other main components of the immune system, T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells, with an effort to identify the main analogies and differences as well as the biological significance of the functional interactions between these components.
KeywordsMajor Histocompatibility Complex Helper Cell Protein Antigen Clonal Selection Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule
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