Transplacental immunization of the human fetus to tetanus toxoid

Journal of Clinical Investigation (Impact Factor: 13.22). 10/1983; 72(3):987-96. DOI: 10.1172/JCI111071
Source: PubMed


Experimental studies in rats showed that immunization of the pregnant female led to the transplacental immunization of her fetuses. The possibility that this also occurred in humans was explored by immunizing 42 pregnant women with tetanus toxoid (2.5 or 5 Lf) in the fifth and eighth months of pregnancy and comparing the immune responses of their offspring with the responses of the offspring of 25 unimmunized mothers. Only the offspring of the immunized mothers were sensitized to tetanus. IgM antitetanus antibodies were in their blood before immunization with diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine (DPT), they had a more rapid (P less than 0.01) response to DPT immunization, and they were still highly sensitized (P less than 0.01) to tetanus 13 mo after birth. In addition, pregnancy had no immunosuppressive effect (P less than 0.05) on the responses of the mothers to tetanus toxoid. Thus, transplacental immunization occurs in humans; it enhances the response of the offspring to subsequent immunization, and it could be used to circumvent the necessity for immunization in early neonatal life.

  • No preview · Article ·
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antibodies directed against the capsular polysaccharides (Ps) of encapsulated pathogenic bacteria can protect the host against infection with such organisms. The immune response to Ps, however, does not develop until relatively late in ontogeny. We have, therefore, studied alternative ways to stimulate anti-Ps antibody responses in neonates, namely priming with idiotype (Id) and anti-Id. We believe that these studies provide the first demonstration of the use of an anti-Id antibody to prime for protection against a bacterial infection and the first demonstration of the ability of a monoclonal anti-Id to prime for protection against any microbial infection. We have used a monoclonal IgM Id, anti-K13 capsular antibody, and a monoclonal IgG1 anti-Id in studies of the effects of administration of anti-Id or Id within 24 h after birth on the ability of mice to respond to subsequent immunization and challenge with live bacteria. These studies show that neonatal administration of 1 micrograms of Id or 50 ng of anti-Id lead to significantly enhanced protection in mice immunized at 4 wk of age and challenged at 5 wk with an intraperitoneal injection of 20-30 LD50 of E. coli 06:K13:H1, as compared with unprimed or antigen (Ps)-primed controls. Mice primed at birth, immunized at 12 wk of age, a time when they can respond fully to Ps itself, and challenged 1 wk later, were still significantly protected by anti-Id priming but no longer showed the effects of Id. We conclude that administration of protective Id early in life may serve a dual function in providing immediate passive protection as well as priming for protective antibodies upon subsequent antigen exposure.
    Preview · Article · Nov 1984 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC) were stimulated in vitro with a number of T cell-dependent antigens. Antigen-induced B cell activation was measured applying a plaque-forming cell assay for the detection of antigen-specific IgM-secreting B cells. With the exception of diphtheria toxoid, the antigens ovalbumin, sheep red blood cells, Helix pomatia hemocyanin, burro red blood cells, and tetanus toxoid elicited an IgM-plaque-forming cell response in cultures of CBMC to levels obtained for peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from adult controls. However, for each antigen used, the antigen dose optimal for the induction of a response was consistently found to be a hundred to a thousand times lower than the concentration of the corresponding antigen optimal for adult PBMC. Longitudinal studies on PBMC obtained from infants between 2 and 30 months of age revealed that a shift of the antigen dose toward concentrations needed to induced plaque-forming cells in cultures of adult PBMC occurs at approximately age 8 months. Our data indicate that various antigens can be used for the in vitro analysis of antigen-specific B cell activation and regulatory T cell functions in studies concerning the ontogeny of the humoral immune response in humans.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1984 · Journal of Pediatrics
Show more