B-Cells - Why one specificity?

Andrew Louka bb95asl at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Dec 12 06:13:41 EST 1997


> If you are interested in immunology, the answer is very complex. Why do
> not you read the "Maturation of B cells" chapter of any Immunology
> textbook? If I recall correctly  there are English textbooks available.

I'm studying applied biology and have to write an essay titled "One B 
cell, one specificity.  Why.".  I've read chapters of different 
immunology books, and a few reviews that I have been cited from kind 
people after my posting to Usenet, but am barely enlightened.

The question asks "why", and not "how do B cells achieve one specificity". 
Restricted cell surface area and the inability to effect a directed
response (if the cell carried several different receptors, it would not be
able to differentiate between them when one binds an antigen.  It would be
inefficient to manufacture lots of different antibodies) are the most
relevant suggestions yet.

I think that these reasons make a lot of sense, but is it the whole 
story?  Does evolution play a significant role?

Thank you for responding - I appreciate all the help I can get!
It's a simple but fascinating question!

Andrew

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url     : http://www.brunel.ac.uk:8080/~bb95asl/                      
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