H chain
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  H chain

H chain

    The larger of the two types of chains that comprise a normal immunoglobulin or antibody molecule.


A serum protein involved in immunity. An antibody.

An infection-fighting protein molecule in blood or secretory fluids that tags, neutralizes, and helps destroy pathogenic microorganisms (eg, bacteria, viruses) or toxins. Antibodies, known generally as immunoglobulins, are made and secreted by B-lymphocytes in response to stimulation by antigens. Each specific antibody binds only to the specific antigen that stimulated its production.



HLA complex
See 'Major histocompatibility complex'.

H-2 complex
The major histocompatibility complex situated on chromosome 17 of the mouse; contains subregions K, I and D.

A particular combination of closely linked genes on a chromosome inherited from one patient.

A compound, usually of low molecular weight, that is not itself immunogenic but that, after conjugation to a carrier protein or cells, becomes immunogenic and induces antibody, which can bind the hapten alone in the absence of carrier.

Heavy chain
The larger of the two types of chains that comprise a normal immunoglobulin or antibody molecule.

H chain

Helper T cells
A class of T cells which help trigger B cells to make antibody against thymus-dependent antigens. Helper T cells also help generate cytotoxic T cells.

Heterophile antigen
A cross-reacting antigen that appears in widely ranging species such as humans and bacteria.

Hinge region
A flexible, open segment of an antibody molecule that allows bending of the molecule. The hinge region is located between Fab and Fc and is susceptible to enzymatic cleavage.

Literally, the ability of tissues to get along; in immunology, it means identity in all transplantation antigens. These antigens, in turn, are collectively referred to as histocompatibility antigens.

Humoral immunity
Any immune reaction that can be transferred with immune serum is termed humoral immunity (as opposed to cell-mediated immunity). In general, this term refers to resistance that results from the presence of specific antibody.

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