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Immunoglobulin

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Updated August 24, 2010

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Immunoglobulin

An antibody image showing the heavy and light chains.

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Definition:

When plasma cells are exposed to a foreign substance, or antigen, they have the unique ability to create and excrete antibodies, or immunoglobulins, to help the body fight off infection. Immunoglobulins are proteins made up of heavy chains (G,A,M,D or E) and light chains (kappa or lambda).

Immunoglobulins are named for their type of “heavy chain:” IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, and IgE.

Also Known As: Antibody

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