B lymphocytes

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Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that make up the adaptive immune response. There are two main types of lymphocytes which are T (most common) and B lymphocytes (least common). B lymphocytes are produced in the bone marrow from haematopoietic stem cells and are mainly involved in humoral immunity. There are three types of B lymphocytes: B effector cells, B memory cells and plasma cells. These types of cells (B +T) recognise antigens which are recognition patterns of a foreign body. On binding an antigen this causes the activation of the B cell which means it starts to produce antibodies which are complementary to the antigen [1]. Antibodies bind to the complementary antigen and trigger death of the cell. As the antigen-antibody complex is recognised by phagocytes, which consequently engulf and digest the cell. After a primary immune response, some B lymphocytes remain in the immune system as memory cells.


  1. Baynes, JW. and Dominiczak, MH. (2014) Medical Biochemistry. 4th Edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier Limited. pp.500-501.
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