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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 1;173(5):3305-9.

TGF-beta receptor signaling is critical for mucosal IgA responses.

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  • 1Vaccine Research Group, Division of Microbiology, Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung-German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, Germany.


TGF-beta receptor (TbetaR) signaling is important for systemic IgA production; however, its contribution to IgA secretion at mucosal sites remained uncertain. This important question was addressed using mice lacking the TbetaR in B cells (TbetaRII-B). Although reduced, IgA-secreting cells and IgA were still present in the systemic and mucosal compartments. The adaptive immune response was investigated after oral or nasal immunization using adjuvants acting on different molecular targets, namely, the cholera toxin B subunit and the macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2. Efficient Ag-specific cellular and humoral responses were triggered both in controls and TbetaRII-B mice. However, a significant reduction in Ag-specific IgG2b and increased levels of IgG3 were observed in sera from TbetaRII-B mice. Furthermore, Ag-specific IgA-secreting cells, serum IgA, and secretory IgA were undetectable in TbetaRII-B mice. These results demonstrate the critical role played by TbetaR in Ag-driven stimulation of secretory IgA responses in vivo.

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