|MadSci Network: Immunology|
Hi Al, Absolutely no worries about depleting your antibodies because of repeated blood donations. Antibodies, like all proteins in the blood, are constantly turning over. The speed at which this happens determines the half-life of the protein. The half-life of IgG antibodies, which are the most abundant in blood, is about three weeks; in three weeks from now, one half of your antibodies would be gone if they weren’t being replenished. The cells that produce the antibodies are called plasma cells and may live a long time. They will keep replenishing the antibodies that are being turned over. However, it is necessary for some immunity, like to tetanus, to get revaccinated every so often to replenish the plasma cells making anti-tetanus antibodies. More information can be found in any Immunology textbook, for example: http://www.whfreeman.com/ku by/index.htm. Keep on donating!
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Immunology.