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J Infect Dis. 1999 May;179 Suppl 3:S470-4.

Mucosal immune system of the human genital tract.

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  • 1Departments of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170, USA. mestecky@uab.edu

Abstract

In contrast to the pronounced dominance of secretory IgA over other immunoglobulin isotypes in human saliva, tears, milk, and gastrointestinal fluids, secretions of both female and male genital tracts contain more IgG than secretory IgA. Both IgG and IgA are derived, to a variable degree, from the systemic immunoglobulin pool as well as from local synthesis. The origin of IgG- and IgA-plasma cell precursors destined for the genital tract is unknown, but indirect evidence suggests that mucosal inductive sites localized in the rectum, small intestine, and especially in the nasal cavity contribute such precursors to the female genital tract. Several studies indicated that intranasal immunization of various species, including humans, was efficient at inducing antigen-specific antibody responses in the female genital tract; however, whether this route is also effective in males has not been explored.

PMID:
10099122
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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