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J Immunol. 1999 Mar 1;162(5):2521-9.

Targeted deletion of the IgA constant region in mice leads to IgA deficiency with alterations in expression of other Ig isotypes.

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  • 1Departments ofMedicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, and Molecular and Human Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


A murine model of IgA deficiency has been established by targeted deletion of the IgA switch and constant regions in embryonic stem cells. B cells from IgA-deficient mice were incapable of producing IgA in vitro in response to TGF-beta. IgA-deficient mice expressed higher levels of IgM and IgG in serum and gastrointestinal secretions and decreased levels of IgE in serum and pulmonary secretions. Expression of IgG subclasses was complex, with the most consistent finding being an increase in IgG2b and a decrease in IgG3 in serum and secretions. No detectable IgA Abs were observed following mucosal immunization against influenza; however, compared with those in wild-type mice, increased levels of IgM Abs were seen in both serum and secretions. Development of lymphoid tissues as well as T and B lymphocyte function appeared normal otherwise. Peyer's patches in IgA-deficient mice were well developed with prominent germinal centers despite the absence of IgA in these germinal centers or intestinal lamina propria. Lymphocytes from IgA-deficient mice responded to T and B cell mitogens comparable to those of wild-type mice, while T cells from IgA-deficient mice produced comparable levels of IFN-gamma and IL-4 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, mice with targeted deletion of the IgA switch and constant regions are completely deficient in IgA and exhibit altered expression of other Ig isotypes, notably IgM, IgG2b, IgG3, and IgE, but otherwise have normal lymphocyte development, proliferative responses, and cytokine production.

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