• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of immunologyLink to Publisher's site
Immunology. Jan 1983; 48(1): 49–58.
PMCID: PMC1454004

IgE suppression by maternal IgG.


Rats born of egg albumin immunized mothers have a diminished capacity to produce IgE antibody to egg albumin persisting for at least 13-14 weeks after birth. At the same time the primary IgG response to the antigen is usually enhanced. Previous studies indicated that these effects were mediated by factors transferred in maternal milk. The phenomenon can be duplicated by the administration of small quantities of immune serum to rats during the first 3 weeks of life. The active component of immune serum is shown to be specific antibody. Suckling rats acquire egg-albumin-specific IgG from the immune mother via the milk. Their serum level approaches that of the mother by 20 days but declines rapidly after weaning to become undetectable by 6-8 weeks. As maternal influence on the immune responsiveness of the offspring persists for several weeks beyond this time, it is unlikely that the mechanism involves a simple blocking by circulating antibody of the access of antigen to cellular receptors. Alternative mechanisms are briefly discussed. Attention is drawn to the possibility that the suppression of IgE antibody responsiveness by maternal IgG may represent a physiological regulatory process with a role in inhibiting the development of infantile allergies.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Albrecht P, Ennis FA, Saltzman EJ, Krugman S. Persistence of maternal antibody in infants beyond 12 months: mechanism of measles vaccine failure. J Pediatr. 1977 Nov;91(5):715–718. [PubMed]
  • BANGHAM DR, TERRY RJ. The survival of globulins absorbed from the gut in suckling rats. Biochem J. 1957 Aug;66(4):584–587. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bolton AE, Hunter WM. The labelling of proteins to high specific radioactivities by conjugation to a 125I-containing acylating agent. Biochem J. 1973 Jul;133(3):529–539. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brown WR. Relationships between immunoglobulins and the intestinal epithelium. Gastroenterology. 1978 Jul;75(1):129–138. [PubMed]
  • Cramer DV, Kunz HW, Gill TJ., 3rd Immunologic sensitization prior to birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1974 Oct 10;120(3):431–439. [PubMed]
  • Dannaeus A, Inganäs M. A follow-up study of children with food allergy. Clinical course in relation to serum IgE- and IgG-antibody levels to milk, egg and fish. Clin Allergy. 1981 Nov;11(6):533–539. [PubMed]
  • Dannaeus A, Johansson SG, Foucard T. Clinical and immunological aspects of food allergy in childhood. II. Development of allergic symptoms and humoral immune response to foods in infants of atopic mothers during the first 24 months of life. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1978 Jul;67(4):497–504. [PubMed]
  • FARR RS. A quantitative immunochemical measure of the primary interaction between I BSA and antibody. J Infect Dis. 1958 Nov-Dec;103(3):239–262. [PubMed]
  • HALLIDAY R. The termination of the capacity of young rats to absorb antibody from the milk. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1956 May 29;145(919):179–185. [PubMed]
  • Jarrett EE. Activation of IgE regulatory mechanisms by transmucosal absorption of antigen. Lancet. 1977 Jul 30;2(8031):223–225. [PubMed]
  • Jarrett EE. Stimuli for the production and control of IgE in rats. Immunol Rev. 1978;41:52–76. [PubMed]
  • Jarrett E, Hall E. Selective suppression of IgE antibody responsiveness by maternal influence. Nature. 1979 Jul 12;280(5718):145–147. [PubMed]
  • Jarrett EE, Hall E. Regulation of ongoing IgE antibody responses with minute doses antigen. Eur J Immunol. 1981 Jun;11(6):520–523. [PubMed]
  • Jarrett EE, Stewart DC. Rat IgE production. I. Effect of dose of antigen on primary and secondary reaginic antibody responses. Immunology. 1974 Sep;27(3):365–381. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Karlsson T, Ellerson JR, Haig DM, Jarrett EE, Bennich H. A radioimmunoassay for evaluation of the IgE and IgG antibody responses in the rat. Scand J Immunol. 1979 Mar;9(3):229–238. [PubMed]
  • Mancini G, Carbonara AO, Heremans JF. Immunochemical quantitation of antigens by single radial immunodiffusion. Immunochemistry. 1965 Sep;2(3):235–254. [PubMed]
  • Mitchison NA. The carrier effect in the secondary response to hapten-protein conjugates. I. Measurement of the effect with transferred cells and objections to the local environment hypothesis. Eur J Immunol. 1971 Jan;1(1):10–17. [PubMed]
  • Peppard JV, Orlans E. The biological half-lives of four rat immunoglobulin isotypes. Immunology. 1980 Aug;40(4):683–686. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sinclair NR. Modulation of immunity by antibody, antigen-antibody complexes and antigen. Pharmacol Ther. 1979;4(2):355–432. [PubMed]
  • Solomon JB, Riddell GS, Whyte DF. Specific immunosuppressive delay of the plaque-forming response by trace amounts of antibody of maternal origin in young rats injected with mouse or sheep erythrocytes. Immunology. 1972 Feb;22(2):219–226. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Immunology are provided here courtesy of British Society for Immunology


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...