Immunoglobulin M (IgM)- Structure and Functions


Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are glycoproteins produced by plasma cells in response to foreign antigens. They are essential for the adaptive immune system to recognize and eliminate pathogens and other harmful substances. Immunoglobulins can be classified into five major classes: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM. Each class has a distinct structure and function in the immune system.

Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is the largest and most primitive of the immunoglobulin classes. It is the first antibody to be produced during an immune response and plays a crucial role in initiating and mediating the primary immune response. IgM can exist in two forms: a pentamer that circulates in the blood and a monomer that is expressed on the surface of B cells. Both forms have unique features and functions that contribute to the immune defense.

In this article, we will explore the structure and functions of IgM in detail and discuss its significance in health and disease. We will also compare IgM with other immunoglobulin classes and highlight its advantages and disadvantages in the immune system. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the role of IgM in immunity and its implications for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.