FcR • FcR allow antibodies to interact with cells of both the specific and non-specific immune systems. • In so doing, FcR connect humoral immune responses to cellular immune responses, and more globally, acquired immunity to that of innate immunity.
Humoral Response • Signal 1 -Antigen interacting with the BCR (membrane-bound Ig associated with signaling molecules, Ig-a and Ig-b .
Transmembrane immunoglobulins are found in a complex with two other proteins, Iga and Igb. Iga and Igb are disulfide-linked but the exact stoichiometry is unknown, nor is it known which chain binds to the heavy chain. Iga varies in its glycosylation depending on which heavy chain it associates with. BCR
Antibody Cytolysis - Complement Antibody - Antigens
ANTIBODY RESPONSE • Self/non-self discrimination - One characteristic feature of the specific immune system is that it normally distinguishes between self and non-self and only reacts against non-self.
ANTIBODY RESPONSE • Memory - A second feature of the specific immune response is that it demonstrates memory. • The immune system "remembers" if it has seen an antigen before and it reacts to secondary exposures to an antigen in a manner different than after a primary exposure. • Generally only an exposure to the same antigen will illicit this memory response.
ANTIBODY RESPONSE • Specificity - A third characteristic feature of the specific immune system is that there is a high degree of specificity in its reactions. • A response to a particular antigen is specific for that antigen or a few closely related antigens.
Fate of the Immunogen (Ag) • Clearance after primary injection - The kinetics of Ag clearance from the body after a primary administration.
Fate of the Immunogen (Ag) • Clearance after secondary injection - If there is circulating antibody in the serum injection of the antigen for a second time results in a rapid immune elimination. • If the is no circulating antibody then injection of the antigen for a second time results in all three phases but the onset of the immune elimination phase is accelerated.
Kinetics of antibody (Ab) responses to T-dependent Ag • Primary (1o) Ab response - The kinetics of a primary antibody response to and antigen
Kinetics of antibody (Ab) responses to T-dependent Ag Secondary (2o), memory response • Lag phase - In a secondary response there is a lag phase but it is normally shorter than that observed in a primary response. • Log phase - The log phase in a secondary response is more rapid and higher Ab levels are achieved. • Steady state phase • Decline phase - The decline phase is not as rapid and Ab may persist for months, years or even a lifetime.
Kinetics of antibody (Ab) responses to T-dependent Ag Secondary (2o), memory or anamnestic response
Secondary response • Not all of the T and B cells that are stimulated by antigen during primary challenge with antigen die. • Some of them are long lived cells and constitute what is refer to as the memory cell pool. • Both memory T cells and memory B cells are produced and memory T cells survive longer than memory B cells. • Upon secondary challenge with antigen not only are virgin T and B cells activated, the memory cells are also activated and thus there is a shorter lag time in the secondary response.
Secondary response • Since there is an expanded clone of cells being stimulated the rate of antibody production is also increased during the log phase of antibody production and higher levels are achieved. • Also, since many if not all of the memory B cells will have switched to IgG (IgA or IgE) production, IgG is produced earlier in a secondary response. • Furthermore since there is an expanded clone of memory T cells which can help B cells to switch to IgG (IgA or IgE) production, the predominant class of Ig produced after secondary challenge is IgG (IgA or IgE).
Specificity of 1o and 2o responses • Ab elicited in response to an antigen is specific for that antigen although it may also cross react with other antigens which are structurally similar to the eliciting antigen. • In general secondary responses are only elicited by the same antigen used in the primary response. • However, in some instances a closely related antigen may produce a secondary response, but this is a rare exception.
Qualitative changes in Ab during 1o and 2o responses Affinity – • The affinity of the IgG Ab produced increases progressively during the response, particularly after low doses of antigen. This is referred to as affinity maturation. • Affinity maturation is most pronounced after secondary challenge with antigen.
Qualitative changes in Ab during 1o and 2o responses Affinity – • One explanation for affinity maturation is clonal selection. • A second explanation for affinity maturation is that, after a class switch has occurred in the immune response, somatic mutations occur which fine tune the antibodies to be of higher affinity. • There is experimental evidence for this mechanism, although it is not known how the somatic mutation mechanism is activated after exposure to antigen.
Qualitative changes in Ab during 1o and 2o responses Avidity - As a consequence of increased affinity, the avidity of the antibodies increases during the response. Cross-reactivity - As a result of the higher affinity later in the response there is also an increase in detectible cross reactivity. An explanation for why increasing affinity results in an increase in detectible cross reactivity
Class switching • During an antibody response to a T-dependent antigen a switch occurs in the class of Ig produced from IgM to some other class (except IgD). • During class switching another DNA rearrangement occurs between a switch site (Sµ) in the intron between the rearranged VDJ regions and the Cµ gene and another switch site before one of the other heavy chain constant region genes. • The result of this recombination event is to bring the VDJ region close to one of the other constant region genes, thereby allowing expression of a new class of heavy chain.
Lymphocyte Maturation Abbas 7-1
Antigens KEY WORDS • ImmunogenAntigenHaptenEpitopeAntigenic determinantAntibodyT-independent antigenT-dependent antigenHapten-carrier conjugateNative determinantHaptenic determinantSuperantigen
Antigen (Ag) Definitions • Immunogen - A substance that induces a specific immune response. • Antigen (Ag) - A substance that reacts with the products of a specific immune response.
Antigen (Ag) Definitions • Hapten - A substance that is non-immunogenic but which can react with the products of a specific immune response. • Haptens are small molecules which could never induce an immune response when administered by themselves but which can when coupled to a carrier molecule. • Free haptens, however, can react with products of the immune response after such products have been elicited. • Haptens have the property of antigenicity but not immunogenicity.
Antigen (Ag) Definitions • Epitope or Antigenic Determinant - That portion of an antigen that combines with the products of a specific immune response. • Antibody (Ab) - A specific protein which is produced in response to an immunogen and which reacts with an antigen.
FACTORS INFLUENCING IMMUNOGENICITY • Foreignness- The immune system normally discriminates between self and non-self such that only foreign molecules are immunogenic. • Size- There is not absolute size above which a substance will be immunogenic. However, in general, the larger the molecule the more immunogenic it is likely to be.
FACTORS INFLUENCING IMMUNOGENICITY • Chemical Composition - In general, the more complex the substance is chemically the more immunogenic it will be. • The antigenic determinants are created by the primary sequence of residues in the polymer and/or by the secondary, tertiary or quaternary structure of the molecule.
FACTORS INFLUENCING IMMUNOGENICITY • Physical form - In general particulate antigens are more immunogenic than soluble ones and denatured antigens more immunogenic than the native form. • Degradability- Antigens that are easily phagocytosed are generally more immunogenic. This is because for most antigens (T-dependant antigens, see below) the development of an immune response requires that the antigen be phagocytosed, processed and presented to helper T cells by an antigen presenting cell (APC).
Contribution of the Biological System • Genetic Factors - Some substances are immunogenic in one species but not in another. Similarly, some substances are immunogenic in one individual but not in others (i.e. responders and non-responders). • The species or individuals may lack or have altered genes that code for the receptors for antigen on B cells and T cells or they may not have the appropriate genes needed for the APC to present antigen to the helper T cells.
Contribution of the Biological System Age- Age can also influence immunogenicity. Usually the very young and the very old have a diminished ability to mount and immune response in response to an immunogen.
Method of Administration • Dose - The dose of administration of an immunogen can influence its immunogenicity. There is a dose of antigen above or below which the immune response will not be optimal. • Route - Generally the subcutaneous route is better than the intravenous or intragastric routes. The route of antigen administration can also alter the nature of the response. • Adjuvants - Substances that can enhance the immune response to an immunogen are called adjuvants. The use of adjuvants, however, is often hampered by undesirable side effects such as fever and inflammation.
CHEMICAL NATURE OF IMMUNOGENS • Proteins -The vast majority of immunogens are proteins. These may be pure proteins or they may be glycoproteins or lipoproteins. In general, proteins are usually very good immunogens. • Polysaccharides - Pure polysaccharides and lipopolysaccharides are good immunogens. • Nucleic Acids- Nucleic acids are usually poorly immunogenic. However they may become immunogenic when single stranded or when complexed with proteins. • Lipids - In general lipids are non-immunogenic, although they may be haptens.
TYPES OF ANTIGENS • T-independent Antigens • T-dependent Antigens
T-independent Antigens - • T-independent antigens are antigens which can directly stimulate the B cells to produce antibody without the requirement for T cell help. In general, polysaccharides are T-independent antigens. • The responses to these antigens differ from the responses to other antigens.