GRE Subject Test: Biology : Understanding Immunological Cells

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Immunological Cells

Which type of cell is responsible for making antibodies?

Possible Answers:

Macrophages

T-lymphocytes

B-lymphocytes

Basophils

Correct answer:

B-lymphocytes

Explanation:

Antibodies are produced by the adaptive immune system and to antigens presented by a pathogen. The antibody-antigen complex is then detected by cytotoxic T-cells, which destroy the infected cell. The antibodies are created by B-lymphocytes, which can differentiate when exposed to a specific pathogen. Differentiated B-lymphocytes known as plasma cells are responsible for the mass production of certain antibodies.

Macrophages are derived from monocytes and serve as phagocytes in the innate immune response. Basophils are also part of the innate immune response and, along with mast cells, produce histamine to initiate the inflammatory response.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Immunological Cells

Which immune cell is part of acquired immunity?

Possible Answers:

Eosinophil

Plasma cell

Macrophage

Neutrophil

Correct answer:

Plasma cell

Explanation:

Acquired immunity is developed in the body following a previously encountered infection. The innate immunity is, by definition, always present in the body and is used to attack all general forms of infection.

The granulocyte cells are considered part of innate immunity and help mediate the immune response against foreign pathogens. These cells include basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, mast cells, and macrophages (which are differentiated from monocytes).

The adaptive immune response involves the production of antibodies against specific target antigens. Plasma cells are an integral part of the adaptive response and secrete large volumes of antibodies in response to a secondary infection by a previously encountered pathogen. T-cells and B-cells are also part of the adaptive response.

Example Question #3 : Animal Biology

Which leukocyte releases histamine during the inflammatory process?

Possible Answers:

Basophil

Neutrophil

Monocytes

B-lymphocyte

Correct answer:

Basophil

Explanation:

There are many types of white blood cells with distinct functions in the body. Neutrophils and monocytes are phagocytes that engulf bacteria. B-lymphocytes produce one type of antibody. Basophils are the least common of the leukocytes, and release histamine during inflammation.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Immunological Cells

Which cell is necessary in order to allow B-ymphoytes to differentiate into plasma cells and memory B-cells?

Possible Answers:

Macrophages

Eosinophils

Cytotoxic T-cells

Helper T-cells

Correct answer:

Helper T-cells

Explanation:

Before a B-lymphocyte can proliferate and differentiate, it must present its antigen to a helper T-cell. If the helper T-cell recognizes the antigen as foreign, it will activate the B-lymphocytes, and cause them to differentiate into plasma cells and memory B-cells.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Immunological Cells

Which types of leukocytes are granular?

Possible Answers:

Basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils

Basophils, lymphocytes, monocytes

Monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils

Lymphocytes, basophils, eosinophils

Neutrophils, basophils, lymphocytes

Correct answer:

Basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils

Explanation:

The five types of leukocytes are: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. Three of these (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils) contain granules, tiny sacs containing enzymes which can lyse microorganisms. The other two leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes) do not contain these granules.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Immunological Cells

What do T and B cell lymphocytes have in common?

Possible Answers:

They both respond to a variety of pathogens.

They are both part of the innate immune response.

They both undergo negative selection.

They both mature in the thymus.

Correct answer:

They both undergo negative selection.

Explanation:

T and B cells are both part of the adaptive immune response. This means that they are typically made to handle very specific pathogens that may be encountered in the body. Before they are released into circulation, both must undergo negative selection, which makes sure that they do not respond to natural peptides that they encounter in the body. Failure of this step to take place can result in autoimmune diseases.

Example Question #6 : Understanding Immunological Cells

Which immune cell is necessary for causing antibody "class switching" on B cells?

Possible Answers:

Natural killer cells

Plasma cells

Helper T cells

Cytotoxic T cells

Correct answer:

Helper T cells

Explanation:

Many of the modulations of the immune response are controlled by helper T cells. In order to change the type of antibody secreted by a B cell, helper T cells need to interact with them via a number of cytokines. The types of cytokines secreted by helper T cells will tell the B cells which antibodies to start secreting.

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