A protein produced by the body to bind its specific antigen, all antibodies have a similar overall structure and are called immunoglobulins (Igs).


A molecule that binds to its specific antibody and to antigen receptors on T and B cells.

Clonal deletion:

 When immature lymphocytes bind to self antigens they are removed, this is the main method the body has to prevent autoimmune diseases.

Clonal expansion:

 An important part of adaptive immunity, it is the proliferation of specific lymphocytes after they have encountered their specific antigen.

Complement system

A system which aids in innate immunity, it consists of small proteins which when trggered are cleaved into cytokines. It is a non-adaptable system which remains constant throughout life.


 A soluble molecule that is involved in cell-cell interactions.


 When granules found in mast cells and basophils are exocytosed.

Fab region:

 A region on an antibody that provides a site for specific antigen binding.

Fc region:

 The region on an antibody that allows it to bind to Fc receptors on cells.


 A vasoactive amine that causes dilation of blood vessels and contraction of smooth muscle, it is released from mast cells and basophils on degranulation.


 A response to an antigen or pathogen that is overly strong and causes more damage to the body than the antigen or pathogen would by themselves. 

IgG molecule:

 An immunoglobulin molecule, a type of serum antibody, IgG makes up the biggest proportion of Ig molecules in the plasma.

Immunological Memory:

This describes the production and maintenance of memory B and T-cells. Memory of a pathogen is what confers immunity.  


Made and relased in response to pathogen invasion they allow cells to communicate with each other and to trigger the cellular response of the immune system.


A specific group of cytokines which promote the differntation and development of immune cells such as T and B-Cells.


Are fatty acid siganlling molecules whos major role is the contraction of smooth muscle in the trachea. Their overproducation is the main reason for inflammation in diseases such as asthma.


A type of cytokine that is made and released by lymphocytes. Are involved in signalling between cells in an immune response.


 A layer of abnormal cells or tissue.


An organism that can cause disease.

Platelet activating factor:

Activates the blood clotting cascade as well as signalling pathways in the innate immune response. Is lipid soluble. 


Lipid molecules which act as locally acting messenger molecules. They have many physioplogical effects, such as the regulation of smooth muscle contraction and relaxation.

Synovial membrane:

 The lining of the joint capsule and is made of connective tissue.


An organ that is part of the lymphatic system, found in the upper half of the chest near the middle (lies over the heart). Is where T cells develop.


Immunology, 7th edition, Male D. Brostoff J. Roth D. B. Roitt I. 2006, Elsevier.

Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition, Janeway C. A. Travers P. Walport M. 2001, Garland Science.