B Cells

B-cell: A white blood cell that comes from bone marrow. As part of the immune system, B cells make antibodies and help fight infections. Also called B lymphocyte.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)1

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B cells have two major functions: They present antigens to T cells, and more importantly, they produce antibodies to neutralize infectious microbes. Antibodies coat the surface of a pathogen and serve three major roles: neutralization, opsonization, and complement activation.

Neutralization occurs when the pathogen, because it is covered in antibodies, is unable to bind and infect host cells. In opsonization, an antibody-bound pathogen serves as a red flag to alert immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages, to engulf and digest the pathogen. Complement is a process for directly destroying, or lysing, bacteria.

Source: NIAID (NIH)2

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References

  1. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ summer08/ articles/ summer08pg7-8.html
  2. Source: NIAID (NIH): niaid.nih.gov/ topics/ immuneSystem/ Pages/ immuneCells.aspx

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.