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J Exp Med. 2000 Apr 3;191(7):1253-8.

Deficiency in serum immunoglobulin (Ig)M predisposes to development of IgG autoantibodies.

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Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge CB2 2QH, United Kingdom.


Serum immunoglobulin (Ig)M provides the initial response to foreign antigen and plays a regulatory role in subsequent immune response development, accelerating the production of high-affinity IgG. Here we show that mice deficient in serum IgM have an increased propensity to spontaneous autoimmunity as judged by the development with age of serum IgG anti-DNA antibodies and the renal deposition of IgG and complement. They also exhibit augmented anti-DNA IgG production on exposure to lipopolysaccharide. Thus, deficiency in serum IgM leads to diminished responsiveness to foreign antigens but increased responsiveness to self-a paradoxical association reminiscent of that described in humans deficient in complement or IgA. We wondered whether serum IgM might play an analogous role with regard to the response to self-antigens. However, here-in contrast to the sluggish response to foreign antigens-we find that deficiency in serum IgM actually predisposes to the development of IgG antibodies to autoantigens.

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