Epithelial Transport of IgA by the Polymeric Immunoglobulin Receptor

  • Charlotte Slayton Kaetzel
  • Maria E. C. Bruno

The mucosal surfaces lining the gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tracts are continuously bombarded by potentially infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, in addition to soluble dietary and environmental substances. The first line of specific immunological defense against these environmental antigens is secretory IgA (SIgA) (Brandtzaeg et al., 1997; Lamm, 1997), which is produced by selective transport of polymeric IgA (pIgA) across epithelial cells lining mucosal surfaces (Kaetzel, 2005; Kaetzel and Mostov, 2005; Norderhaug et al., 1999). The magnitude of this transport process is impressive; it has been estimated that ~3 g of SIgA are transported daily into the intestines of the average adult (Conley and Delacroix, 1987; Mestecky et al., 1986). Transport of polymeric immunoglobulins (IgA and, to a lesser extent, IgM) across mucosal epithelial cells is mediated by a transmembrane glycoprotein called the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR).


Secretory Component Basolateral Surface Brushtail Possum Upstream Stimulatory Factor Epithelial Transport 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Slayton Kaetzel
    • 1
  • Maria E. C. Bruno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology Immunology and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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