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BMS664 Advanced Immunology UITM Assignment Answer Malaysia

BMS664 Advanced Immunology is an in-depth and advanced course designed for students who possess a foundational understanding of immunology. This course delves into various key areas within immunology, including genetics of antibody diversity, genetics and structure of the T cell receptor and MHC molecules, mechanisms of immune response regulation, and the role of the immune system in both health and disease. Moreover, students will gain valuable insights into the techniques applicable in diagnostic and research laboratories. Throughout the course, participants will expand their knowledge, enhancing their expertise in the fascinating field of immunology.

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Assignment Brief 1 : Explain the genetic mechanisms that result in the diversity in immunoglobulin structure and T cell receptor responsible for antigen recognition and the signalling transduction involved in lymphocytes activation.

Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, and T cell receptors (TCRs) are essential components of the adaptive immune system responsible for antigen recognition and defense against pathogens. The diversity in their structures is achieved through distinct genetic mechanisms:

Immunoglobulin (Ig) Structure Diversity: 

The diversity of immunoglobulins is primarily attributed to the process of V(D)J recombination. Immunoglobulin genes consist of multiple gene segments: Variable (V), Diversity (D), and Joining (J) segments. During B cell development, DNA rearrangement occurs, where one V, one D (in some cases), and one J segment are selected and joined together, creating the variable region that recognizes antigens. This process generates an enormous number of unique antibody specificities.

T Cell Receptor (TCR) Diversity: 

Similar to immunoglobulins, TCRs also undergo V(D)J recombination. The TCR genes have V, D, and J gene segments. T cells use different sets of TCR alpha and beta chains (or gamma and delta chains in some cases) to form their TCRs. The recombination of V, D, and J segments results in diverse TCR specificities.

Signaling Transduction Involved in Lymphocyte Activation: When antigens bind to the variable regions of immunoglobulins or TCRs, it triggers a series of signaling events leading to lymphocyte activation:

B Cell Activation:

 When a B cell encounters its specific antigen, the antigen binds to the surface immunoglobulin. This triggers signaling cascades, leading to the activation of B cell co-receptors. The activated B cell undergoes clonal expansion and differentiation into plasma cells that secrete antibodies.

T Cell Activation:

 When a TCR recognizes its specific antigen presented by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, a signal is generated. Co-stimulatory signals from APCs are also required for full T cell activation. Activated T cells differentiate into effector T cells, such as cytotoxic T cells or helper T cells, to carry out immune responses.

Assignment Brief 2 : Discuss the general organization and inheritance of MHC, its role in antigen processing and presenting and allograft graft rejection.

General Organization and Inheritance of MHC:

 The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a cluster of genes that encode cell surface proteins involved in antigen presentation to T cells. In humans, MHC is called the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system. MHC is highly polymorphic, meaning it has many different alleles in the population. MHC genes are inherited in a codominant manner from each parent, resulting in diverse MHC profiles in individuals.

Role in Antigen Processing and Presentation: 

MHC molecules are divided into two classes:

 MHC class I and MHC class II.

  • MHC Class I: Found on the surface of almost all nucleated cells, MHC class I molecules present intracellular antigens, typically from viral proteins or abnormal cellular components, to CD8+ cytotoxic T cells. This activates cytotoxic T cells to destroy infected or abnormal cells.
  • MHC Class II: Expressed on antigen-presenting cells (e.g., dendritic cells, macrophages, B cells), MHC class II molecules present antigens derived from extracellular sources (e.g., bacterial proteins) to CD4+ helper T cells. This activation helps in coordinating the immune response.

Allograft Rejection:

The MHC plays a crucial role in organ transplantation. Mismatched MHC between the donor and recipient can lead to allograft rejection. T cells recognize foreign MHC molecules as non-self, triggering an immune response against the transplanted organ. To minimize rejection, tissue typing and matching MHC profiles between donor and recipient are essential.

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Assignment Brief 3 : Relate the function of the immune system to its applications in protection, transplantation and immunological diseases. (PO1-C5, A4, P1)

Protection: 

The immune system protects the body from pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It detects and eliminates these harmful agents through various mechanisms, including phagocytosis, production of antibodies, and activation of T cells.

Transplantation: 

The immune system plays a critical role in organ and tissue transplantation. Matching the MHC between the donor and recipient reduces the risk of rejection. Immunosuppressive drugs are used to prevent the recipient’s immune system from attacking the transplanted organ.

Immunological Diseases: 

The immune system can malfunction, leading to immunological diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. Allergies result from an exaggerated immune response to harmless substances. Immunodeficiency disorders weaken the immune system, making individuals susceptible to infections.

Assignment Brief 4 : Predict the effects of failure in the mechanism of tolerance and regulation of the immune.system.

Autoimmunity:

 Failure in immune tolerance mechanisms can lead to autoimmunity. This means the immune system starts recognizing self-antigens as foreign and attacks its own tissues, causing autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or type 1 diabetes.

Allergic Reactions:

Immune regulation disruption can result in exaggerated immune responses to harmless substances, leading to allergies. The immune system produces an excessive amount of IgE antibodies and releases histamines, causing symptoms like itching, sneezing, and swelling.

Immunodeficiency: 

If the immune system’s regulatory mechanisms are impaired, it may lead to immunodeficiency disorders. These disorders can be primary (inherited) or secondary (acquired), making individuals more susceptible to infections and cancer.

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Assignment Brief 5 : Justify the selection of suitable immunological techniques to address immunological questions.

The choice of immunological techniques depends on the specific research question and the information researchers aim to gather. Some suitable techniques are:

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA): 

ELISA is used to detect and quantify specific antibodies or antigens in a sample. It is valuable in diagnosing infectious diseases, monitoring immune responses, and assessing vaccine efficacy.

Flow Cytometry: 

Flow cytometry allows the analysis of cell populations based on their surface markers and intracellular molecules. It helps in studying immune cell subsets, activation states, and functional properties.

Immunohistochemistry (IHC):

 IHC is used to visualize the presence and distribution of specific antigens in tissue samples. It aids in understanding the cellular localization of immune molecules and their role in disease pathology.

Western Blotting: 

Western blotting is used to detect and quantify specific proteins in a sample. It can be employed to study the expression of immune-related proteins and assess post-translational modifications.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): 

PCR allows the amplification of specific DNA sequences, enabling the detection of pathogens or the analysis of immune gene expression profiles.

Assignment Brief 6 : Conduct immunoassays experiments and communicate the findings in scientific writing.

In this experiment, you will perform an immunoassay to quantify a specific antigen using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. Follow these steps:

  • Design the Experiment: Decide on the antigen to be detected and the experimental conditions. Choose appropriate positive and negative controls.
  • Sample Collection and Preparation: Obtain the samples and prepare them for analysis. This may involve sample dilution or extraction of the antigen.
  • Coating the ELISA Plate: Coat the wells of a microtiter plate with capture antibodies specific to the antigen of interest.
  • Blocking: Block the remaining uncoated surface on the plate to prevent non-specific binding.
  • Incubation: Add the prepared samples and controls to the coated plate and incubate to allow antigen binding to the capture antibodies.
  • Detection: Add a detection antibody that binds to the captured antigen, followed by an enzyme-linked secondary antibody that binds to the detection antibody.
  • Substrate Addition: Add a substrate for the enzyme, which will produce a measurable signal (e.g., color change) if the antigen is present.
  • Quantification: Measure the signal using a microplate reader and convert it to antigen concentration using a standard curve.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation: Analyze the results, draw conclusions, and discuss the significance of the findings in the context of the research question.
  • Scientific Writing: Write a comprehensive scientific report detailing the experiment’s methodology, results, and interpretation. Include figures, tables, and references as appropriate. Follow the standard scientific writing format and ensure clarity and accuracy in your communication of the findings.

Remember to cite the relevant sources and adhere to ethical considerations in conducting the experiments and reporting the results. Good luck with your immunoassay experiment and scientific writing!

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