B-Cell Function and Ontogeny

  • Arnold S. Freedman
Part of the Monographs on Pathology of Laboratory Animals book series (LABORATORY)


The major function of B lymphocytes is the production of antibodies. These antibodies play a large role in the immune system as they are directed against antigens on microorganisms and other potential toxins. These antibodies facilitate the involvement of other defenses including the activation of complement and promotion of phagocytosis. The generation of immunoglobulin (Ig)-producing cells involves the interaction of B cells with T cells and accessory cells as well as a variety of cytokines. In addition to Ig production, B cells are involved in antigen presentation, and they appear to produce several growth and differentiation factors. This suggests that B cells are not simply passive recipients of exogenous signals, but also active participators in the generation and regulation of the immune response.


Cell Antigen Cell Surface Antigen Activation Antigen Cell Surface Antigen Expression Heavy Chain Versus 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

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  • Arnold S. Freedman

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