The Double Immunodiffusion Technique

Immunoprecipitation and Analysis of Antigenic Protein in Gel
  • David L. Cohen
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


Antibodies are globulin proteins produced by vertebrates in response to specific antigenic (immunogenic) challenge, and are a major feature of vertebrate immune defense against microbial disease. Antigens (immunogens) are substances capable of eliciting such responses because of their innate foreigness to the exposed animal. The nature of this foreigness relates to the presence of discrete chemical groupings (antigenic determinants or epitopes) on the surface of the antigenic molecule. All antigenic molecules consist of a mosaic of similar or dissimilar epitopes, with the number of epitopes representing the valency of the antigen. An important attribute of the antibody molecules is that they can react specifically with an antigen because they possess binding sites that are complementary to the antigenic epitopes. A good analogy is used by Feinberg (1), who refers to the epitope “bump” fitting the antibody “hollow.” Whereas the antigen is almost certainly multivalent, the majority of globulin antibody proteins in serum are divalent (IgG), i.e., possess two linked identical binding sites.


Human Serum Albumin Precipitation Pattern Specific Antiserum Antigenic Molecule Double Immunodiffusion 
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  1. 1.
    Feinberg, G. and Jackson, M.A. (1984) The Chain of Immunology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oakley, C.L. and Fulthorpe, AJ. (1953) Antigenic Analysis by Diffusion. J. Pathol. Bacteriol. 65, 49–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Weir, D.M. (ed.) (1978) Handbook of Experimental Immunology Vol. 1. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Axelson, N.H. (ed.) (1983) Handbook of Immunoprecipitation in Gel Techniques. Scand. J. Immunol (Suppl.) 10, 17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological and Environmental StudiesThe Hatfield PolytechnicUK

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