|The cells of the immune system that make antibodies to invading pathogens such as viruses. They form memory cells that remember the same pathogen for faster antibody production in future infections.|
B cells are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Once the B cell is activated, it turns into a plasma cell, and starts producing antibodies. They are a vital part of the adaptive immune system. They have a protein on the B cell's outer surface known as a 'B cell receptor'. This allows a B cell to bind to a specific antigen.
The main functions of B cells are:
- to make antibodies against antigens,
- to perform the role of antigen-presenting cells (APCs),
- to develop into memory B cells after activation by antigen interaction.
Recently, a new, suppressive function of B cells has been discovered.
References[change | change source]
- Plasma cell = cell which makes antibodies
- Mauri, Claudia; Bosma, Anneleen (2012). "Immune regulatory function of B Cells". Annual Review of Immunology 30: 221–41. doi:10.1146/annurev-immunol-020711-074934. PMID 22224776.
- Alberts B. et al 2002. Molecular biology of the cell. Garland Science: New York, pg 1367.