Immunology in the Clinic and Research Lab Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Immunology in the Clinic and Research Lab Deck (6)
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What is the antibody repertoire? 

Total possible number of antibody binding sites 


What is antibody affinity? 

Strength of a single interaction between an antibody and its epitope


What is antibody avidity? 

Sum of different affinities (Some antibodies will be multimeric and have several different binding sites) 


What is the half-life of antibodies? 

The amount of time an antibody will remain in the body 


Describe the polyclonal antibody response 

  • When we are infected with a pathogen we mount a polyclonal antibody response 
    • It is polyclonal because there are multiple epitopes on an antigen hence we produce a polyclonal response, antibodies with different binding specificities
  • B-cells in our bodies will have a unique specificity for an antigen, the binding of the epitope to the B-cell will induce B-cell proliferation and form a clone of B-cells 


How do we produce monoclonal antibodies? 


Monoclonal antibodies = Bind specifically to a single epitope 

  • Hybridoma culture 
    • We take the antigen we want to make the Ab's and inject it into the mouse 
    • After 2 weeks we will harvest the B-cells which make the antibody 
    • We take the B-cells and fuse them with myeloma cells (derived from B-cell tumour but do not produce antibodies themselves) 
      • These cells also lack the HGPRT gene (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase)
    • After we have carried out the fusion process, we have a mixture of cells
      •  (unfused B-cells and myeloma cells and fused cells (called hybridomas)

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