Antigens are substances that induce a specific immune response and subsequently react with the products of a specific immune response



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Antigen


  • Antigens are substances that induce a specific immune response and subsequently react with the products of a specific immune response.



An antigen is a molecule that stimulates an immune response.

  • An antigen is a molecule that stimulates an immune response.

  • The word originated from the notion that they can stimulate antibody generation. We now know that the immune system does not only consist of antibodies.

  • The modern definition encompasses all substances that can be recognized by the adaptive immune system.



Tolerogen - An antigen that invokes a specific immune non-responsiveness due to its molecular form. If its molecular form is changed, a tolerogen can become an immunogen.

  • Tolerogen - An antigen that invokes a specific immune non-responsiveness due to its molecular form. If its molecular form is changed, a tolerogen can become an immunogen.



Allergen - An allergen is a substance that causes the allergic reaction. The (detrimental) reaction may result after exposure via ingestion, inhalation, injection or contact with skin.

  • Allergen - An allergen is a substance that causes the allergic reaction. The (detrimental) reaction may result after exposure via ingestion, inhalation, injection or contact with skin.



Antigens can be classified in order of their origins

  • Exogenous antigens

  • Exogenous antigens are antigens that have entered the body from the outside, for example by inhalation, ingestion, or injection. By endocytosis or phagocytosis, these antigens are taken into the antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and processed into fragments.



Endogenous antigens

  • Endogenous antigens

  • Endogenous antigens are antigens that have been generated within the cell, as a result of normal cell metabolism, or because of viral or intracellular bacterial infection.



Autoantigens

  • Autoantigens

  • An autoantigen is usually a normal protein or complex of proteins (and sometimes DNA or RNA) that is recognized by the immune system of patients suffering from a specific autoimmune disease.



These antigens should under normal conditions not be the target of the immune system, but due to mainly genetic and environmental factors the normal immunological tolerance for such an antigen has been lost in these patients.

  • These antigens should under normal conditions not be the target of the immune system, but due to mainly genetic and environmental factors the normal immunological tolerance for such an antigen has been lost in these patients.



Tumor antigens

  • Tumor antigens

  • Tumor antigens are those antigens that are presented by the MHC I molecules on the surface of tumor cells. These antigens can sometimes be presented only by tumor cells and never by the normal ones. In this case, they are called tumor-specific antigens (TSAs) and typically result from a tumor specific mutation.



★ Immunogenicity

  • ★ Immunogenicity

  • The capacity to stimulate the production of antibodies or cell-mediated immune responses.



★ Antigenicity: The ability to bind antibody.

  • ★ Antigenicity: The ability to bind antibody.

  • ♣ Complete antigen

  • ♣ Incomplete antigen, also known as

  • hapten.



Incomplete antigens have antigenic determinants, but cannot induce immune responses because they lack one or more of the important attributes needed for this function (one example of an incomplete antigen is a hapten, which is an artificial monovalent epitope)

  • Incomplete antigens have antigenic determinants, but cannot induce immune responses because they lack one or more of the important attributes needed for this function (one example of an incomplete antigen is a hapten, which is an artificial monovalent epitope)



3 Properties of antigen

  • Foreignness is essential to immunogenicity because self-responsive cells are eliminated during lymphocyte ontogeny, leaving only cells that respond to non-self, so-called "foreign" epitopes.

  • Specificity

  • High molecular weight



Molecule of Hemoglobin



Epitope,or,Antigenic determinants, are

  • Epitope,or,Antigenic determinants, are

  • the portions of antigen molecules that

  • physically interact with paratopes

  • (combining sites) of immune response

  • molecules and therefore actually

  • "determine" antigen specificity



Antigenic epitopes



Types of Epitopes

  • 1. Linear epitopes

  • ♣ continuous and found in polysaccharides as well as in both native (nondenatured) and denatured proteins, especially fibrillar proteins.

  • ♣ specificity depends upon primary sequence.

  • ♣ typical size is 5-6 subunits in length.



2. Conformational epitopes

  • 2. Conformational epitopes

  • ♣ Discontinuous (involve multiple subunits, often located far apart in the primary sequence of the antigen molecule) and are thus found only in native (globular) proteins.



♣ Specificity depends upon conformation, or three-dimensional shape, which is a combination of tertiary and quaternary structure ... supported by primary and secondary structure, of course.

  • ♣ Specificity depends upon conformation, or three-dimensional shape, which is a combination of tertiary and quaternary structure ... supported by primary and secondary structure, of course.



♣ Typical size is hard to pinpoint, but sequences of up to 16 amino acids in certain protein antigens have been shown to interact with their complementary paratope.

  • ♣ Typical size is hard to pinpoint, but sequences of up to 16 amino acids in certain protein antigens have been shown to interact with their complementary paratope.



Two different epitopes

  • B cell epitope, a portion of antigen molecule that is recognized by B cell receptors.



T cell epitope and B cell epitope





5 Classification of Antigens

  • Thymus-dependent antigen(TD-Ag)

  • Thymus-independent antigen(TI-Ag)



6 Superantigen

  • Molecules that are potent T lymphocyte mitogens and simultaneously bind to class II MHC molecules. They are often associated with staphylococcal products and are involved in enterotoxemias and toxic shock syndrome in humans.



Superantigens (SAgs) are secreted proteins (exotoxins) that exhibit highly potent lymphocyte-transforming (mitogenic) activity directed towards T lymphocytes.

  • Superantigens (SAgs) are secreted proteins (exotoxins) that exhibit highly potent lymphocyte-transforming (mitogenic) activity directed towards T lymphocytes.



Compared to a normal antigen-induced T-cell response where 0.001-0.0001% of the body’s T-cells are activated, SAgs are capable of activating up to 20% of the body’s T-cells. This causes a massive immune response that is not specific to any particular epitope on the SAg.

  • Compared to a normal antigen-induced T-cell response where 0.001-0.0001% of the body’s T-cells are activated, SAgs are capable of activating up to 20% of the body’s T-cells. This causes a massive immune response that is not specific to any particular epitope on the SAg.







7 Mitogen

  • An agent that induces mitosis. Here means to activate T cells and/or B cells without help from APCs.

  • Lectin, for example, concanavalin A (ConA).

  • LPS(lipopolysaccharide)

  • Staphylococcal protein A(SPA)



8 Adjuvant

  • Adjuvant: The Latin "adjuvans" means to help, particularly to reach a goal.

  • An adjuvant is a substance that helps and enhances the pharmacological effect of a drug or increases the ability of an antigen to stimulate the immune system.



Classification of Adjuvant

  • Freund’s adjuvant

  • ♥ Complete Freund’s adjuvant(CFA)

  • ♥ Incomplete Freund’s adjuvant(IFA)

  • Liposome

  • Inorganic compound

  • Cytokine

  • Biodegradable nanoparticles



Mechanisms of adjuvants

  • Prolonged persistence of immunogen molecules at the site of injection.

  • Enhancement of co-stimulatory signals.

  • Induction of granuloma formation.

  • Stimulation of lymphocyte proliferation in a non-specific manner.



9 Other antigens

  • 9-1 Heterophilic antigen : A kind of common antigen, existing in human, animals, and microbes.

  • Fossman antigen.

  • 9-2 Xenogenic antigen

  • This antigen comes from different genus and generic. For example, pathogenic antigen.



9-3 Allogenic antigen

  • 9-3 Allogenic antigen

  • The specific antigen exists in different individuals. Blood type antigens

  • 9-4 Autoantigen

  • A pathological term.

  • BUT, sperm antigen



9-5 Idiotypic antigen

  • 9-5 Idiotypic antigen

  • An antibody molecule is some sort of foreign molecule when generated in animal body. Such that immune system recognizes it as Antigen, which is known as Idiotypic antigen.





Thank you!

  • Next Lecture:

  • Antibody




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