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noun, plural: antibodies

Any of the numerous Y-shaped gamma globulin proteins found in the blood or lymph, and produced by B cells as an immune defense against foreign agents (antigens). Each antibody has a region that binds specifically to a particular antigen which it neutralizes. It is typically made up of large heavy chains and small light chains.


Antibodies are grouped based on their mode of action. Some of which are as follows:

Antibodies may be produced by direct exposure to foreign agents (active immunity). They may also be passed on from mother to offspring via milk (passive immunity).

Word origin: German Antikörper: from Latin anti- + körper (body).

Abbreviation: Ab


Compare: antigen

Related terms: