B Cells

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B cells are B lymphocytes. B cells recognize antigens through clonally expressed and highly specific antigen receptors[1]. B cells develop in the foetal liver before birth and in the bone marrow after birth[2]. B cells is a part of adaptive immune responses. B cells are responsible for the production of antibodies which are for extracellular pathogens[3]. B cells also function as antigen presenting cells for the activation of T cells[4].

B cells have receptors (BCRs) which are able to bind to antigens in an immune response. BCRs consist of two chains: a heavy and light chain. The variable region of the chains bind to the epitope of the antigen. There are many ways that the variable region can obtain such specificity, which is necessary in giving the individual the best chance of survival from invading pathogens. In terms of the light chain either a kappa or lambda chain is expressed on any one B cell. Primarily a kappa chain is formed which results in there being more of this type of B cell but if this gene rearrangement is unsuccessful on both chromosomes then lambda gene rearrangement is attempted instead.


  1. Male, D. (2013). Immunology (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier.
  2. Hall, A., Scott, C., Buckland, M. (2016). Clinical Immunology Second ed., Fundamentals of biomedical science.
  3. Male, D. (2013). Immunology (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier.
  4. http://www2.nau.edu/~fpm/immunology/lectures/Chapter08.pdf
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