Lack of J chain inhibits the transport of gut IgA and abrogates the development of intestinal antitoxic protection.

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.52). 08/1999; 163(2):913-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent publications have provided confusing information on the importance of the J chain for secretion of dimeric IgA at mucosal surfaces. Using J chain-deficient (J chain-/-) mice, we addressed whether a lack of J chain had any functional consequence for the ability to resist challenge with cholera toxin (CT) in intestinal loops. J chain-/- mice had normal levels of IgA plasma cells in the gut mucosa, and the Peyer's patches exhibited normal IgA B cell differentiation and germinal center reactions. The total IgA levels in gut lavage were reduced by roughly 90% as compared with that in wild-type controls, while concomitantly serum IgA levels were significantly increased. Total serum IgM levels were depressed, whereas IgG concentrations were normal. Following oral immunizations with CT, J chain-/- mice developed 10-fold increased serum antitoxin IgA titers, but gut lavage anti-CT IgA levels were substantially reduced. However, anti-CT IgA spot-forming cell frequencies in the gut lamina propria were normal. Anti-CT IgM concentrations were low in serum and gut lavage, whereas anti-CT IgG titers were unaltered. Challenge of small intestinal ligated loops with CT caused dramatic fluid accumulation in immunized J chain-/- mice, and only 20% protection was detected compared with unimmunized controls. In contrast, wild-type mice demonstrated 80% protection against CT challenge. Mice heterozygous for the J chain deletion exhibited intermediate gut lavage anti-CT IgA and intestinal protection levels, arguing for a J chain gene-dosage effect on the transport of secretory IgA. This study unequivocally demonstrates a direct relationship between mucosal transport of secretory SIgA and intestinal immune protection.

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