Difference Between B cells and T cells

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B cells and T cells are the white blood cells of the system that are liable for adaptive immune reaction in an organism. Both the cells are made in the bone marrow. B cells mature in the bone marrow while the T cells travel to the thymus and mature there. These cells are structurally similar and are involved in adaptive immune reaction in an organism.


What are B cells?

These cells mature in the bone marrow and produce antibodies in response to the antigens. B cells are involved in humoral response. As soon as B cells encounter the antigens, they produce plasma cells and memory B cells.


What are T cells?

T cells originate within the bone marrow and mature within the thymus. These are often further divided into T helper cells and T cytotoxic cells. They are responsible for removing the pathogens from the body. As soon as the foreign antigen enters the cells, T cells trigger the B cells to develop plasma cells and activate T killer cells that kill the cells affected by the invaders.


Similarities Between B cells and T cells

  1. Both B and T cells originate within the bone marrow.

  2. These cells are involved in adaptive immunity.

  3. They are a type of lymphocytes.

  4. The cells are nucleated and motile.

  5. Both protect the body’s immune system and help fight infections.

  6. Both the cells are non-phagocytic and are a part of the lymphatic system.


Properties of B cells and T cells 

Both B cells and T cells share these properties as mentioned - 

  • They are integral membrane proteins.

  • They are present in many similar copies that are exposed at the cell surface.

  • They are prepared much before the cell even encounters an antigen.

  • They are encoded by genes that are assembled by a combination of segments of DNA.

  • They have a unique binding site.

  • This site binds to a some of the antigen called an antigenic determinant or epitope.

  • The binding, like that between an enzyme and its substrate depends on complementarity of the surface of the receptor and therefore the surface of the epitope.

  • The binding takes place by non-covalent forces (again, like an enzyme binding to its substrate).

  • Successful binding of the antigen receptor to the epitope, if amid additional signals, results in:

    • Stimulation of the cell to go away G0 and enter the cell cycle.

    • Repeated mitosis results in the event of the same cells bearing an equivalent antigen receptor; that's , an identical  cell of the identical specificity.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are B cells?

Ans - These cells mature in the bone marrow and produce antibodies in response to the antigens. B cells are involved in humoral response. As soon as B cells encounter the antigens, they produce plasma cells and memory B cells.

Q2. What are T cells?

Ans - T cells originate within the bone marrow and mature within the thymus. These are often further divided into T helper cells and T cytotoxic cells. They are responsible for removing the pathogens from the body. As soon as the foreign antigen enters the cells, T cells trigger the B cells to develop plasma cells and activate T killer cells that kill the cells affected by the invaders.

Q3. Mention some of the properties of B and T cells

Ans - Some of the properties are - 

  • They are integral membrane proteins.

  • They are present in many similar copies that are exposed at the cell surface.

  • They are prepared much before the cell even encounters an antigen.

  • They are encoded by genes that are assembled by a combination of segments of DNA.

  • They have a unique binding site.

  • This site binds to a some of the antigen called an antigenic determinant or epitope.

  • The binding, like that between an enzyme and its substrate depends on complementarity of the surface of the receptor and therefore the surface of the epitope.

  • The binding takes place by non-covalent forces (again, like an enzyme binding to its substrate).

  • Successful binding of the antigen receptor to the epitope

Q4. Where are B and T cells located?

Ans - The B and T cells originate in the bone marrow and mature in the bone marrow and thymus respectively.

Q5. How do the T cells activate?

Ans - The T helper cells are activated when they are presented with the antigens by the MHC Class II molecules that are expressed on the surface of antigen presenting cells.

Q6. Mention the similarities between B cells and T cells

Ans - Some of the similarities between B cells and T cells are - 

  • Both B and T cells originate within the bone marrow.

  • These cells are involved in adaptive immunity.

  • They are a type of lymphocytes.

  • The cells are nucleated and motile.

  • Both protect the body’s immune system and help fight infections.

  • Both the cells are non-phagocytic and are a part of the lymphatic system.