Sophie.cerys
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As the title says, are opsonins the non specific or specific immune response?

My textbook says opsonins are the non-specific, but then says antibodies are the specific immune response, but antibodies are opsonins so I'm confused!!
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Ambitious1999
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None Specific.
Basically opsonins are any molecule that helps macrophages phagocytose pathogens and non-self antigens.
Yes they work with antibodies and antigen presenting cells (APCs) which are part of the specific immune response BUT they only help in the specific immune response.

Opsonins are Non specific because they are just simple molecules and part of the complement familiy. They also work in the innate or none specific immune response for instance if a none self particle enters your body such as a pollen, opsonins will be involved.

Antibodies are specific because they bind directly to the antigen. There are millions of antibodies with variable regions and out of that selection at least one will bind with the antigen and activate B cells to make multiple copies of that antibody to be produced bringing about the immune response.
Opsonins do not have that complex ability.
Last edited by Ambitious1999; 11 months ago
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Jpw1097
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(Original post by Sophie.cerys)
As the title says, are opsonins the non specific or specific immune response?

My textbook says opsonins are the non-specific, but then says antibodies are the specific immune response, but antibodies are opsonins so I'm confused!!
(Original post by Ambitious1999)
None Specific.
Basically opsonins are any molecule that helps macrophages phagocytose pathogens and non-self antigens.
Yes they work with antibodies and antigen presenting cells (APCs) which are part of the specific immune response BUT they only help in the specific immune response.

Opsonins are Non specific because they are just simple molecules and part of the complement familiy. They also work in the innate or none specific immune response for instance if a none self particle enters your body such as a pollen, opsonins will be involved.

Antibodies are specific because they bind directly to the antigen. There are millions of antibodies with variable regions and out of that selection at least one will bind with the antigen and activate B cells to make multiple copies of that antibody to be produced bringing about the immune response.
Opsonins do not have that complex ability.
An opsonin is any molecule that enhances phagocytosis. This includes antibodies, complement proteins and other molecules such as mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and C-reactive protein (CRP). With the exception of antibodies, opsonins are non-specific. Opsonins bind to receptors on phagocytes which stimulates phagocytosis of the pathogen. The constant region of the antibodies, the Fc region, binds to Fc receptors on phagocytes; complement binds to complement receptors, etc. Therefore, I would say that opsonins are both part of the specific and non-specific immune system.
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