Immunoglobulin A

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is an antibody playing a critical role in mucosal immunity. More IgA is produced in mucosal linings than all other types of antibody combined. [cite journal |author=S Fagarasan and T Honjo |title=Intestinal IgA Synthesis: Regulation of Front-line Body Defenses |journal=Nat. Rev. Immunology |volume=3 |pages=63–72 |year=2003 |pmid=12511876 |doi=10.1038/nri982] However, sources are correct when they indicate immunoglobulin G as the most common form of immunoglobulin in the human body. In its secretory form, is the main immunoglobulin found in mucous secretions, including tears, saliva, colostrum, intestinal juice, vaginal fluid and secretions from the prostate and respiratory epithelium. It is also found in small amounts in blood. Because it is resistant to degradation by enzymes, secretory IgA can survive in harsh environments such as the digestive and respiratory tracts, to provide protection against microbes that multiply in body secretions. [cite book |last=Junqueira |first= Luiz C. |coauthors= Jose Carneiro |title= Basic Histology|year= 2003|publisher= McGraw-Hill|id= ISBN 0838505902]

IgA is a poor activator of the complement system, and opsonises only weakly. Its heavy chains are of the type α.

Forms

IgA1 vs. IgA2

It exists in two isotypes, IgA1 (90%) and IgA2 (10%):
* IgA1 is found in serum and made by bone marrow B cells.
* In IgA2, the heavy and light chains are not linked with disulfide but with noncovalent bonds. IgA2 is made by B cells located in the mucosae and has been found to secrete into colostrum, maternal milk, tears and saliva.

erum vs. secretory IgA

It is also possible to distinguish forms of IgA based upon their location - serum IgA vs. secretory IgA.

IgA is found in secretions in a specific form called "secretory IgA"', polymers of 2-4 IgA monomers linked by two additional chains. One of these is the J chain (joining chain), which is a polypeptide of molecular mass 15kD, rich with cysteine and structurally completely different from other immunoglobulin chains. This chain is formed in the IgA-secreting cells.

The oligomeric forms of IgA in the external (mucosal) secretions also contain a polypeptide of a much larger molecular mass (70 kD) called the secretory component that is produced by epithelial cells. This molecule originates from the poly-Ig receptor (130 kD) that is responsible for the uptake and transcellular transport of oligomeric (but not monomeric) IgA across the epithelial cells and into secretions such as tears, saliva, sweat and gut fluid.

IgA activity

The high prevalence of IgA in mucosal areas is a result of a cooperation between plasma cells that produce polymeric IgA (pIgA), and mucosal epithelial cells that express an immunoglobulin receptor called the polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR). pIgA is released from the nearby activated plasma cells and binds to pIgR. This results in transportation of IgA across mucosal epithelial cells and its cleavage from pIgR for release into external secretions.cite journal |author=Snoeck V, Peters I, Cox E |title=The IgA system: a comparison of structure and function in different species |journal=Vet. Res. |volume=37 |issue=3 |pages=455–67 |year=2006 |pmid=16611558 |doi=10.1051/vetres:2006010]

In the blood, IgA interacts with an Fc receptor called FcαRI (or CD89), which is expressed on immune effector cells, to initiate inflammatory reactions. Ligation of FcαRI by IgA containing immune complexes causes antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), degranulation of eosinophils and basophils, phagocytosis by monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils and eosinophils, and triggering of respiratory burst activity by polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

Transport

Polymeric IgA (mainly the secretory dimer) is produced by plasma cells in the lamina propria adjacent to mucosal surfaces. It binds to the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor on the basolateral surface of epithelial cells and is taken up into the cell via endocytosis. The receptor-IgA complex passes through the cellular compartments before being secreted on the luminal surface of the epithelial cells, still attached to the receptor. Proteolysis of the receptor occurs and the dimeric IgA molecule, along with a portion of the receptor known as the secretory component, are free to diffuse throughout the lumen. [cite journal |author=CS Kaetzel, JK Robinson, KR Chintalacharuvu, JP Vaerman, and ME Lamm |title=The polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (secretory component) mediates transport of immune complexes across epithelial cells: a local defense function for IgA |journal=Proc Natl Acad Sci USA |volume=88 |issue=19 |pages=8796–8800 |year=1991 |pmid=1924341 |doi=10.1073/pnas.88.19.8796] In the gut, it can bind to the mucus layer on top of the epithelial cells to form a barrier capable of neutralizing threats before they reach the cells.

Pathology

Decreased or absent IgA, termed selective IgA deficiency, can be a clinically significant immunodeficiency.

"Neisseria gonorrhœae" (causes gonorrhea) releases a protease which destroys IgA.

IgA nephropathy is caused by IgA deposits in the kidneys. It is not yet known why IgA deposits occur in this chronic disease. Some theories suggest it is an abnormality of immune system that results in these deposits.

ee also

* TGF beta
* Antibodies
* IgM, IgD, IgE, IgG

References

External links

*


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • immunoglobulin — im mu*no*glob ulin ([i^]m m[ u]*n[ o]*gl[o^]b [ u]*l[i^]n) n. (1953) any one of a class of globular proteins which are antibodies and are produced by the immune system in animals. Note: The immunoglobulins form a series of related proteins which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • immunoglobulin A — immunoglobulin im mu*no*glob ulin ([i^]m m[ u]*n[ o]*gl[o^]b [ u]*l[i^]n) n. (1953) any one of a class of globular proteins which are antibodies and are produced by the immune system in animals. Note: The immunoglobulins form a series of related… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • immunoglobulin D — immunoglobulin im mu*no*glob ulin ([i^]m m[ u]*n[ o]*gl[o^]b [ u]*l[i^]n) n. (1953) any one of a class of globular proteins which are antibodies and are produced by the immune system in animals. Note: The immunoglobulins form a series of related… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • immunoglobulin G — immunoglobulin im mu*no*glob ulin ([i^]m m[ u]*n[ o]*gl[o^]b [ u]*l[i^]n) n. (1953) any one of a class of globular proteins which are antibodies and are produced by the immune system in animals. Note: The immunoglobulins form a series of related… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • immunoglobulin M — immunoglobulin im mu*no*glob ulin ([i^]m m[ u]*n[ o]*gl[o^]b [ u]*l[i^]n) n. (1953) any one of a class of globular proteins which are antibodies and are produced by the immune system in animals. Note: The immunoglobulins form a series of related… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Immunoglobulin M — Immunoglobulin M, or IgM for short, is a basic antibody that is present on B cells. It is the primary antibody against A and B antigens on red blood cells. IgM is by far the physically largest antibody in the human circulatory system. tructure… …   Wikipedia

  • Immunoglobulin G — (IgG) is a monomeric immunoglobulin, built of two heavy chains γ and two light chains. Each IgG has two antigen binding sites. It is the most abundant immunoglobulin and is approximately equally distributed in blood and in tissue liquids,… …   Wikipedia

  • Immunoglobulin D — (IgD) is an antibody isotype that makes up about 1% of proteins in the plasma membranes of immature B lymphocytes where it is usually coexpressed with another cell surface antibody called IgM. IgD is also produced in a secreted form that is found …   Wikipedia

  • immunoglobulin — immunoglobulin. См. иммуноглобулин. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • immunoglobulin D — n IGD …   Medical dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.