Many nonprotein antigens, such as polysaccharides and lipids, stimulate antibody production in the absence of helper T cells, and these antigens and the responses they elicit are termed thymus independent or T independent (TI). These antibody responses differ in several respects from responses to T cell-dependent protein antigens (Table 11-2). The antibodies that are produced in the absence of T cell help are generally of low affinity and consist mainly of IgM with limited isotype switching to some IgG subtypes and also to IgA.
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