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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 0.657 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v19.i5-6.50
28 pages

Regulation of the Formation and External Transport of Secretory Immunoglobulins

P. Brandtzaeg
LIIPAT, Rikshospitalet, N-0027 Oslo, Norway
F.-E. Johansen
Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology (LIIPAT), Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo, The National Hospital, Rikshospitalet, N-0027 Oslo, Norway
I. N. Norderhaug
Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology (LIIPAT), Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo, The National Hospital, Rikshospitalet, N-0027 Oslo, Norway
H. Schjerven
Laboratory for Immunohistochemistry and Immunopathology (LIIPAT), Institute of Pathology, University of Oslo, The National Hospital, Rikshospitalet, N-0027 Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT

Secretory IgA (SIgA) is the best defined effector component of the mucosal immune system. Generation of SIgA and secretory IgM (SIgM) in exocrine glands and mucous membranes depends on a fascinating cooperation between local plasma cells that produce polymeric IgA (plgA, mainly dimers and some larger polymers) and pentameric IgM, and secretory epithelial cells that express the polymeric Ig receptor (plgR) — also known as transmembrane secretory component. After release from the local plasma cells and diffusion through the stroma, plgA and pentameric IgM become readily bound to plgR, and are then actively transported across secretory epithelial cells for extrusion into external secretions after cleavage of plgR. Much knowledge has recently been obtained at the molecular level about the regulation of plgR-mediated transport of antibodies. This mechanism is of considerable biological interest because SIgA and SIgM form the first line of specific immunological defense against infectious agents and other harmful substances that may enter the body through the mucosae.