Standard Article

Antibody Classes

  1. Christer Wingren1,
  2. Ulf Alkner2,
  3. Ulla-Britt Hansson1

Published Online: 23 SEP 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003985



How to Cite

Wingren, C., Alkner, U. and Hansson, U.-B. 2005. Antibody Classes. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Lund University, Lund, Sweden

  2. 2

    AstraZeneca R&D, Lund, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2005


Antibodies are glycoproteins belonging to the immunoglobulin family. The immunoglobulins have a common four-chain structure (two identical light chains and two identical heavy chains) and they can be divided into different classes (and subclasses) according to the isotype of the heavy chain. The heavy chain isotype will confer different structural and functional properties on each antibody class, so that each isotype will occupy a specific site in the body and have a specific role to play in the immune system.


  • immunoglobulin classes;
  • immunoglobulin subclasses;
  • immunoglobulin structure;
  • immunoglobulin function;
  • immunoglobulin physico-chemical properties