Specificity and function of "natural" antibodies in immunodeficient subjects: clues to B cell lineage and development.
The origin of natural antibodies has long been a subject of controversy. Polyreactive natural antibodies recognize multiple ligands and are thought to arise from B1 B cells. Natural antibodies against carbohydrate antigens such as Gal alpha 1-3Gal or against blood groups A and B are thought to be "elicited" by gut bacteria, but their origin is uncertain. To explore the origin of naturally occurring anticarbohydrate antibodies, the specificity and function of the xenoreactive antibodies and isohemagglutinins were investigated in immunodeficient subjects. Subjects with defects in T cell-dependent antibody synthesis had normal levels of xenoreactive natural antibodies, most of which, like xenoreactive antibodies from normal individuals, were specific for Gal alpha 1-3Gal. On the other hand, some subjects with hyper-IgM syndrome who were able to synthesize abundant quantities of xenoreactive antibodies and polyreactive antibodies were devoid of anti-Gal alpha 1-3Gal antibodies. These results suggest that the lineages of B cells giving rise to anti-Gal alpha 1-3Gal antibodies and isohemagglutinins are distinct from B1 B cells or at least exist at a more "advanced" stage of development than those B1 B cells that give rise to polyreactive antibodies. The findings also suggest that B cells which synthesize anti-Gal alpha 1-3Gal antibodies and isohemagglutinins may be distinct from B2 B cells or exist at a more "primitive" stage of development than B2 B cells that synthesize elicited antibodies in normal individuals.
Parker, W; Yu, PB; Holzknecht, ZE; Lundberg, K; Buckley, RH; Platt, JL
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