Role of serum IgA. Hepatobiliary transport of circulating antigen

Academic Article


  • The IgA-mediated hepatobiliary excretion of antigen from the circulation was studied using a radiolabeled haptenated protein (dinitrophenyl-human serum albumin) injected intravenously in mice together with monoclonal anti-dinitrophenyl antibodies of different immunoglobulin classes. Antibodies were obtained from ascitic fluids of mice bearing the MOPC315 myeloma (IgA), or immune spleen cell hybridomas (IgG and IgM). IgA antibody brought about the transport of large amounts of antigen from the circulation to the bile during 1-3 hr. Analysis of bile by gel filtration showed that a large part of the transported antigen remained intact and complexed with IgA. Neither IgA of different specificity nor anti-dinitrophenyl IgM mediated biliary transport of antigen. With antidinitrophenyl IgG, only small amounts of low molecular weight fragments of labeled antigen were found in the bile. Preformed immune complexes of radiolabeled antigen and IgA antibody were rapidly transported from the circulation to the bile, resulting in threefold-higher levels of radioactivity in bile than in serum. It is proposed that an important function of serum IgA is to mediate the hepatobiliary excretion of corresponding circulating antigens.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Russell MW; Brown TA; Mestecky J
  • Start Page

  • 968
  • End Page

  • 976
  • Volume

  • 153
  • Issue

  • 4