AP Biology : Understanding Immunoglobulins

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #23 : Immune System

Immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies) are produced by which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Helper T-lymphocytes, usually with input from B-lymphocytes

Natural killer cells

Dendritic cells

B-lymphocytes, usually with input from helper T-lymphocytes

Correct answer:

B-lymphocytes, usually with input from helper T-lymphocytes

Explanation:

B-cells produce antibodies (a subset of adaptive immunity called humoral immunity). The usual sequence involves B-cell activation via interleukins from helper T-lymphocytes, which cause the B-cell to undergo mitosis, creating numerous clones that will differentiate into plasma cells (rapid antibody producers) or memory B-cells. 

Example Question #1 : Understanding Immunoglobulins

Immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies) can be found in which of the following tissues?

Possible Answers:

Only in the blood plasma and certain secretions 

The linings of the digestive and respiratory tracts

Only in the blood plasma

Blood plasma, tissue fluid, and on the surface of some immune cells

Correct answer:

Blood plasma, tissue fluid, and on the surface of some immune cells

Explanation:

Antibodies (or immunoglobulins) are produced by B-leukocytes and plasma cells, and are a key part of humoral (having to do with bodily fluids) immunity. As such, they can be found in several of the fluids circulating or exiting the body. Some types of immunoglobulins can even cross the placenta or be secreted in breast milk to pass immunity from a mother to her child.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Immunoglobulins

Immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies) can work in many ways. Which answer option describes a mechanism of immunoglobulin function?

Possible Answers:

Precipitation

All of the other answers

Complement fixation

Neutralization

Correct answer:

All of the other answers

Explanation:

All of the given answer options describe mechanisms for immunoglobulin function.

Neutralization occurs when the antibodies simply cover the biologically active portion of the pathogen, rendering it harmless. Complement fixation refers to the antibodies binding to the pathogen and facilitating the activation of the complement system (a series of plasma proteins that activate other immune processes). Precipitation is when antibodies link the antigens on many pathogens together, creating an insoluble clump ready for removal.

 

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