Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is, by far, the most abundant immunoglobulin produced in humans and is also the most heterogeneous (Kerr, 1990; Woof and Mestecky, 2005) (see Chapter 1). Human serum IgA, produced by plasma cells in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen, is mainly monomeric (mIgA) and constitutes ~15–20%of the total serum Ig pool. However, IgA predominates at the mucosa, as 80–90%of mucosal plasma cells produce this isotype (Brandtzaeg et al., 1999). In addition to IgA, mucosal plasma cells also express a small polypeptide called the joining chain (J-chain) that directs the assembly of dimers and larger polymers [collectively called polymeric IgA (pIgA)] (Johansen et al., 2000).


IgAN Patient Secretory Component Aggressive Periodontitis Human Mesangial Cell Leukocyte Receptor Complex 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Craig Morton
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResearchNorway

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