The local production of the most important antibody for protection of mucosal surfaces, secretory antibody IgA, is not restricted to organized lymphoid structures in gut, as previously thought. In the June issue of Nature Immunology, researchers at the University of Chicago and Emory University teamed up to show that mice that do not have lymph nodes are nevertheless able to make IgA if provided with a signal from lymphotoxin (LT). The inability to produce IgA is a common form of immunodeficiency -- associated with increased susceptibility to infection, loss of food tolerance and a heightened risk of autoimmunity. Knowing that LT plays such a large role may lead to better treatments as well as more effective oral vaccines -- and the flip side of that, better induction of tolerance to food.
Dr. Yang-Xin Fu
University of Chicago
Tel: +1 773 702 0929
(C) Nature Immunology press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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