Analysis of human IgG and IgA subclass antibody-secreting cells from localized chronic inflammatory tissue

Academic Article


  • The chronic inflammatory diseases in humans have been intensively investigated, however the immune mechanisms underlying diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease, and periodontal disease (PD) remain elusive. In this study, we have analyzed the distribution of IgM, IgG, and IgA secreting cells with emphasis on the IgG and IgA subclasses among mononuclear cell populations isolated from gingiva at different stages of PD. Surgically removed tissues were treated with Dispase to gently dissociate cells and the Ficoll-Hypaque gradient centrifugation was used to enrich for viable mononuclear cells rich in lymphocytes, macrophages, and plasma cells. The total numbers of plasma cells increased with the severity of disease. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that most Ig-containing cells were of the IgG isotype; however, significant numbers of IgA-positive cells but few IgM-positive cells were seen. This isolation procedure allowed analysis, at the single cell level, of the distribution of IgG and IgA subclasses of antibody-secreting cells with monoclonal antibodies to human IgG and IgA subclasses. For this, we selected four monoclonal anti-IgG subclass (anti-γ1, -γ2, -γ3, and -γ4) antibodies with no subclass cross reactivity for use in the enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Analysis of slight, moderate, and advanced stages of PD showed a progressive increase in spot-forming cells (SFC) numbers, and the major isotype of SFC was IgG followed by IgA. The major IgG subclass SFC seen was IgG1 followed by IgG2 whereas similar numbers of IgG3 and IgG4 SFC were observed, a pattern also seen with cells from synovium of RA patients and in mitogen-triggered spleen and PBMC. In terms of the IgA subclass distribution, IgA1 predominated in moderate stages, whereas a selective increase in IgA2 SFC were seen in the more advanced stage of PD. These results show that significant numbers of viable plasma cells/Ig-secreting cells can be isolated from inflamed gingival tissues. Further, careful analysis has shown that IgG subclass responses in gingiva are similar to those found in synovia of RA subjects, and in stimulated PBMC and spleen. However, it should be noted that the number of IgG4- and IgA2-secreting cells increased in the advanced stage of PD.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Ogawa T; Tarkowski A; McGhee ML; Moldoveanu Z; Mestecky J; Hirsch HZ; Koopman WJ; Hamada S; McGhee JR; Kiyono H
  • Start Page

  • 1150
  • End Page

  • 1158
  • Volume

  • 142
  • Issue

  • 4