Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 34, Supplement 1, pp 12–21 | Cite as

Natural IgM: Beneficial Autoantibodies for the Control of Inflammatory and Autoimmune Disease



Natural IgM are highly represented in the circulation at birth, and these often autoreactive antibodies have been postulated to have innate-like properties and play crucial roles in apoptotic cell clearance, tissue homeostasis, and immune modulation. This review summarizes the known properties of these IgM autoantibodies, and the evidence that these anti-apoptotic cell IgM natural antibodies can regulate inflammatory responses through ancient pathways of the innate immune system that first arose long before the initial emergence of the adaptive immune system. While the regulatory contributions of these natural IgM autoantibodies are certainly not an essential and fundamental component of host defenses, these provide an additional layer to further protect the host. More importantly, these IgM antibody responses are highly inducible and their up-regulation can be a powerful means for the host to survive in a setting of chronic inflammation. The observed beneficial clinical associations for cardiovascular disease and autoimmunity, as well as opportunities for potential therapeutic implications are discussed.


Immunoglobulin protective IgM apoptotic cells autoimmunity inflammation homeostasis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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