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Extra info for Age-Related Macular Degeneration, 2nd Edition
B Lymphocytes and Antibody B-lymphocytes mature in the bone marrow, and are responsible for the production of antibodies. Antibodies [or immunoglobulins (Igs)] are soluble antigen-speciﬁc effector molecules of antigen-speciﬁc immunity (3,75,76). After appropriate antigenic stimulation with T cell help, B cells secrete IgM antibodies, and later other isotypes, into the efferent lymph ﬂuid draining into the venous circulation. Antibodies then mediate a variety of immune effector activities by binding to antigen in the blood or in tissues.
The key concept is that an antigen (usually) represents an alien, completely foreign substance against which speciﬁc cells of immune system must generate, de novo, a speciﬁc receptor, which, in turn, must recognize a unique molecular structure in the antigen for which no preexisting gene was present. Thus, the antigen-speciﬁc immune system has evolved away for an individual’s B and T lymphocytes to continually generate new antigen receptor genes through recombination, rearrangement, and mutation of the germline genetic structure to create a “repertoire” of novel antigen receptor molecules that vary tremendously in spectrum of recognition among individuals within a species.
OVERVIEW OF BIOLOGY OF IMMUNOLOGY RELEVANT TO AMD Innate vs. Antigen-Specific Immunity In general, an immune response is a sequence of cellular and molecular events designed to rid the host of an offending stimulus, which usually represents a pathogenic organism, toxic substance, cellular debris, neoplastic cell, or other similar signal. Two broad categories of immune responses have been recognized: innate and antigen-speciﬁc immunity (1–3). Innate Immunity Innate immunity (also called “natural” immunity) is a pattern recognition response by certain cells of the immune system, typically macrophages and neutrophils, to identify broad groups of offensive stimuli, especially infectious agents, toxins or cellular debris from injury (4–6).