Clonal selection of b cells is a process that allows the immune system to choose specific B cells to respond to a specific antigen. These cells have identical antigen-recognition features, and are called clones. After they have undergone this process, they differentiate into effector cells and memory cells. Hundreds of millions of different antigen epitopes can trigger an immune response in humans, making clonal selection of b cells a vital process.
B cells are derived from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. They acquire a number of surface markers during development, including the interleukin-7 receptor. This receptor is essential for B-cell development and maturation. Clonal selection activates B cells, causing them to proliferate. They eventually differentiate into plasma and memory cells, which remain in the body for long periods. They give the immune system long-lasting immunity to antigens.
To clone B cells, antigenic substances are used to determine the number of binding sites per functional antibody unit. These substances are small molecules that bind to self-proteins. These antigenic substances, also known as haptens, can be used to select B cells for clonal selection. The selection process involves several steps. The first step is identifying the antigen. The antigen must be small enough to be recognized by the immune system.
Once the antigen has been identified, B cells can start to multiply and differentiate into plasma cells. These cells then produce antibodies. The other process is clonal selection, which involves the formation of a clone of plasma cells and memory cells. In this stage, plasma cells are the effector cells of a B cell clone, producing antibodies.
Memory B cells are plentiful and are primed for responding to specific antigens. These cells have fine-tuned receptors, which allow them to respond to antigens even at low concentrations. In time, these memory cells differentiate into plasma cells and proliferate to produce more effective antibodies. In this way, the immune system is able to fight off infection.