Catalytic Antibody Bridges Innate and Adaptive Immunity

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Science  13 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5601, pp. 2143-2144
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080005

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Neutrophils of the innate immune system are well equipped to kill invading pathogens by generating a variety of reactive oxygen intermediates including singlet oxygen. In his Perspective, Nathan discusses the surprising finding (Wentworth et al.) that stalwart members of the acquired immune system, the antibodies produced by B cells, can contribute to this armamentarium by catalytically reacting singlet oxygen with water to produce hydrogen peroxide and a powerful ozone-like oxidant, O3.