The Biology Project: Immunology

Introduction to Immunology

Problem 7. Allergy

Allergies result from the production of ______ directed against an antigen.

A. IgG
B. IgA
C. IgM


IgE binds to the surface of a class of white blood cells called mast cells. The presence of antigen that binds to the IgE leads to the release of granules by the mast cells that contain a number of mediators of inflammation, including histamine. These factors are important in immune response that protect us from parasites, including helminths (worms). Some humans are more likely to make an IgE response to non-pathogenic antigens, including pollens. These individuals suffer from allergies caused by IgE-stimulated mast cell degranulation.


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