Info

Long-lived memory cell for antigen b

Plasma cells secreting large amounts of anti-b antibodies d

As a means of clarifying discussions of lymphocyte characteristics, descriptive terms are sometimes used:

■ Immature lymphocytes are those that have not fully developed their antigen-specific receptor.

■ Naive lymphocytes have an antigen receptor, but have not yet encountered the antigen to which they are programmed to respond.

■ Activated lymphocytes are able to proliferate; they have bound antigen by means of their antigen receptor and have received any required accessory signals from another cell, confirming the danger of the antigen.

■ Effector lymphocytes are descendents of activated lymphocytes that have become armed with the ability to produce specific cytokines or other substances. This endows the cell with specific protective attributes, or effector functions.

■ Memory lymphocytes are long-lived descendents of activated lymphocytes; they can quickly change back to being an activated B cell when antigen is encountered again. Memory lymphocytes are responsible for the speed and effectiveness of the secondary response.

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