14 Magical Difference between IgM and IgG with Comparison Table

What is the difference between  IgM and IgG?

Immunoglobulin is those proteins that tend to bind antigen in a specific case. These immunoglobulins are also known as antibodies.

Both IgM and IgG belong to the immunoglobulin class. They are known to play a vital role in the body of both animals and human beings.

The lesson provides the difference between IgM and IgG. Take the time to also explore the meaning and how they work in the body.

Difference between IgM and IgG

What Is Immunoglobulin M (IgM)?

IgM is those antibodies produced in response to exposure to antigens or foreign materials in the body. They are particularly large in amount.

These antibodies are quite common in blood and lymph. They are developed in the plasma cells. They are known to be quite effective when it comes to evading viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Research shows that IgM is normally the first antibody present in the human fetus. It has a Y-shape pentamer joint together by a polypeptide chain.

IgM is temporal and they tend to have a short lifespan of about 2-3 weeks in the body. Excessive accumulation of IgM could result in parasitic infection, mononucleosis, kidney damage, and rheumatoid arthritis.

On the other hand, an insufficient supply of IgM in the blood could result in myeloma, leukemia, and other inherited diseases.

What Is Immunoglobulin G (IgG)?

IgG are those antibodies that protect the body against bacterial or viral infection. They are produced by white blood cells hence occur in abundance in the body.

They are quite common in blood serum. Also, regarded to be the smallest in amount when compared to IgM.

They occur in the monomer unit of Y-shape. It has two antigen-binding sites and a heavy chain of gamma.

This is the only antibody that can travel via blood and transferred from the mother placenta to the developing embryo in the womb.

Lastly, these antibodies are produced when there is a need for a secondary immune response towards antigen, phagocytosis, getting rid of viruses or bacteria, and promoting opsonization.

Having a high amount of IgG is due to long term infection like multiple myeloma, HIV, and multiple sclerosis. A low amount of IgG can result in kidney damage and other few infections in the body.

Comparison Chart: IgM Vs IgG

Basic TermsIgMIgG
Where they are LocatedLymph fluids and bloodIntestines, blood, and lymph
Produced byPlasma cellsWhite blood cells
RoleThe first antibody developed due to response of antigen or foreign materials in the bodyProduce when in need of secondary immune towards long term infection.
SizePentamer with Y-shaped units joint together by the polypeptide chainMonomer with a Y-shaped unit.
Number of Antigen binding102
TypesHas no classificationIt has four classes such as IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4.
Molecular weight900,000MW150,000MW
Light chainskappa (κ ) and lambda ( λ).kappa (κ ) and lambda ( λ).
Heavy chainsmu (µ).gamma (γ ).
Amount presence in serum10 percent75 percent
High amount effectIt causes parasitic infections, kidney damage, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, mononucleosis.Imply the presence of long term infection to HIV, multiple myeloma, multiple sclerosis.
Low amount effectIt causes leukemia and a few inherited diseases.It causes kidney damage and other types of infection.
Amount of carbohydrate present12 percent3 percent

Core Differences between IgM and IgG In Point Form 

  1. IgM provides immediate response when exposed to antigens or foreign materials while IgG provides secondary immunity to long term infections.
  2. IgM has a pentamer unit with ten antigen-binding sites while IgG has a monomer unit with two antigen-binding sites.
  3. IgM is the first antibody produced in the human fetus and cannot pass into the placenta due to a large size while IgG can be transferred from the mother to the developing embryo via the placenta.
  4. IgM is produced in the plasma cells and found in lymph fluid and blood while IgG produced by white blood cells and presence in intestines, blood, and lymph.
  5. IgG has four different types such as IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 while IgM has no type.
  6. IgG has a heavy chain of gamma (γ) while IgM has a heavy chain of mu (µ).
  7. IgG has a percentage of 75 in serum while IgM has a percentage of 10.
  8. The molecular weight of IgG is 150,000MW while that of IgM is 900,000MW.

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Comparison Video

Summary

Antibodies are protein in nature and they are produced by B-lymphocytes. The main aim of antibodies is to offer defense and fight off infections in the body.

There are about five types of antibodies where IgM and IgG are part of the types. All these antibodies vary in size and weight.

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