In most cases, B cells that bind antigen require accessory signals from a T-helper cell to become activated. Activated B cells proliferate, ultimately producing plasma cells, which secrete antibody, and long-lived memory cells. Affinity maturation and class switching occur in the primary response; these enable a swift and more effective secondary response. T-independent antigens can stimulate an antibody response by activating B cells without the aid of T-helper cells.
■ Describe the process of clonal selection.
■ How do B cells increase their ability to bind to antigen?
■ Why should B cells residing in the mucosal-associated lymphoid tissues produce IgA?
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