Ask the Lab Scientist Question:
How do tumor B cells function in regard to IgG production? Do they produce a monoclonal, though useless, Ab? Does a relatively normal serum globulin level consist largely of this IgG?
Answer: Yes, for specific antigens present on a tumor cell, normal B cells will try to produce antibodies against it. Unfortunately, the tumors can produce compounds which will neutralize or block the action of these antibodies. The antibodies themselves aren’t quite useless since they can be very functional, just blocked. In individuals with abnormal B cell function (CLL, lymphoma, auto-immune disorders, for example) it is possible to have normal B cell plus abnormal B cell function.
Abnormal function can range from:
- Producing nothing or producing something.
- Working nicely or just producing compounds that might act like an antibody but are completely useless.
- Producing compounds that are pretty close to the real ones, so they are at least partially working.
In the normal situation, IgG is made up of different types of antibodies but, yes, they are all antibodies. In a person with immune dysfunction, all of the above possibilities (1, 2, and 3) can be found.
Since you will understand as a biochemist, here is a breakdown of the different IgG types:
IgG-1: Works against soluble proteins and membrane proteins
IgG-2: Works against bacterial capsular polysaccharide antigen
IgG-3: Stimulates the pro-inflammatory process
IgG-4: Initiates the complement inflammatory process
We hope that answers your question.