antigens are big molecules- however, the area that triggers the specific immunity is a small part, known as what?
how big is an epitope?
an epitope in a protein antigen could be as few as 20 amino acids long
what is the shape of an epitope?
could be linear, conformational
what type of cells recognize a conformational epitope?
BCR only, not TCR
what is the difference between a linear and conformational epitope?
in a conformational epitope, the sequence of amino acids is discontinuous, but they are brought into proximity by the protein's 3-D structure
what is a synonym for conformational epitope?
when is there cross-reaction between different antigens?
when a different antigen has one identical determinant or a similar determinant
when is there no reaction between different antigens?
when there is no structural similarity
what is the receptor/binding activity of a BCR?
what is the receptor/binding activity of a TCR?
TCR --> Ag/MHC
is MHC required for BCR?
is MHC required for TCR?
does a BCR bind soluble antigen?
does a TCR bind soluble antigen?
what is the chemical nature of BCR antigens?
protein polysaccharides lipids nucleic acids
what is the chemical nature of TCR antigens?
proteins some lipids, glycolipids
what type of epitope is recognized by BCR?
accessible, either linear or conformational
what type of epitope is recognized by TCR?
linear peptides (short)
what makes a good antigen/immunogen?
1. physical size : > --> better 2. complexity: chemical composition and structural complexity 3. solubility or degradability by antigen processing cells, macrophages, dendritic cells and B cells 4. foreignness to the individual
what size are the best immunogens?
what is the minimum size for active immunogens (proteins)
how immunogenic is an immunogen that is <5-10kD?
minimally immunogenic, usually require carrier
what is an example of a <5-50kD immunogen that is minimally active and requires a carrier?
How do the categories of chemical compounds rank in terms of their immunogenicity based on complexity in descending order?
HIGH IMMUNOGENICITY: 1. proteins and glycoproteins 2. Polysaccharides 3. nucleic acids, phospholipids 4. haptens LOW IMMUNOGENICITY:
are proteins and glycoproteins good immunogens?
how complex are proteins and glycoproteins in terms of their immunogenicity?
complex in composition and structure
can proteins and glycoproteins induce immunity?
can induce humoral and cell-mediated immunity
how complex are polysaccharides in terms of their immunogenicity?
repeating structures, generally low affinity
what type of response do polysaccharide immunogens elicit?
do polysaccharides stimulate a cell-mediated immune response?
cannot be processed and presented as linear epitopes for T cells, thus do not induce cell-mediated response
how foreign are nucleic acids and phospholipids in terms of their immunogenicity?
evolutionarily conserved; less foreign
how do nucleic acids and phospholipids become better immunogens?
conjugation with proteins or polysaccharides
how immunogenic are haptens?
insufficient in size to be immunogenic. need carrier
what examples of natural haptens?
hormones, lipids, simple sugars
what are examples of synthetic haptens?
chemicals, drugs (penicillin)
what types of drugs can act like haptens and be associated with severe, life threatening anaphylactic reactions?
antibiotics, particularly penicillins
how do penicillins act as haptens?
they form covalent bonds with proteins to produce protein-drug adducts that elicit an immune response (hypersensitivities) in some individuals
what are the 3 types of epitopes in a hapten-conjugate complex?
1. the pure hapten 2. the pure antigen 3. the hapten-antigen complex
how can a hapten be made immunogenic?
immunizing with a hapten-carrier conjugate
do identical twins recognize each other's proteins as foreign?
no. they have the same genetic makeup and their immune systems would recognize eachother as self
what are examples of immunologically privileged anatomical sites (sequestration)?
corneal, spermatic, CNS cell antigens
What are the types of antigens?
1. mitogens 2. superantigens 3. T cell independent 4. T cell dependent
mitogens are characterized by what?
the same epitope repeated many times
how many types of B cells can mitogens activate?
more than one B cell type/clone
are mitogens B cell monoclonal or polyclonal activators?
B cell polyclonal activators
what are superantigens?
antigens that can activate more than one type of T cell
are superantigens polyclonal/monoclonal B/T cell activators?
polyclonal T cell activators
what effect do superantigens have on the immune system?
cause hyper activation of the immune system
what is an example of excessive T cell activation having drastic effects?
toxic shock syndrome
what does an antigen being T cell independent vs. T cell dependent depend on?
whether an anigen can stimulate B lymphocytes with or without the help from T lymphocytes
How do superantigens induce activation of multiple types of T cells?
they are polyclonal stimulators of T cells, binding to the MHC-TCRβ (on the outside of the polypeptide of TCR) complex, without regard for antigen specificity
How much of CD4 T cells are activated by super antigens?
up to 20%
what is the result of a superantigen activating up to 20% of circulating CD4 T cells?
massive production of cytokines such as IL1, IL2, and TNFα which causes systemic shock
what are examples of conditions that are caused by superantigens?
food poisoning toxic shock syndrome
what microbes cause food poisoning and/or toxic shock syndrome?
water in oil emulsion containing killed mycobacteria
how does an adjuvant increase immunogenicity of an antigen?
1. insolubilize antigen for better phagocyte uptake 2. insolubilize antigen for gradual release over time in lipid emulsions called liposomes with delayed time release of antigen 3. stimulating the influx of phagocytic cells or other immune cells to the site
some adjuvants contain mycobacterial components capable of stimulating what?