Immunity questions...

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Immunity questions...

Post by astronautswife » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:49 pm

I have two questions that I hope someone can help me with...
1. Is it possible for something to be an antigen, a pathogen, and an allergen?
2. How does histamine, kinin, and opson work together to guide phagocytes?
Thanks SOOOO much! :)

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Post by Darby » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:24 pm

Not sure for #2.

For #1 - it's possible, but very unlikely. Antigens and allergens are molecules, and pathogens are things like bacteria and viruses. Prions, infectious proteins, could conceivably be all three.

Antigens and allergens both set off responses, and are differentiated more by us deciding which is a "good" response and which isn't. Antigens are generally associated with potential pathogens (response is good), allergens usually with benign environmental objects like pollen or food (response is bad).

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Post by Dr.Stein » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:22 am

#1 As long as it is a protein, it has a potential to be antigen, pathogen, or allergen. However, to be an allergen is something depends on individual condition.

#2 They will attach on pathogen surface. Phagocyte (especially macrophage) has a receptor for them. That's direct mechanism. Another mechanism, indirectly, via immunoglobulin: After they attach on pathogen surface, then appropriate immunoglobulin (IgG, IgE, IgM, etc.) will bind them via Fab part. In the meantime, phagocyte has Fc receptor for that Igs.

See this figure to provide you much better understanding :)



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