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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1992 Oct;8(10):1773-80.

Serum IgA subclasses and molecular forms in HIV infection: selective increases in monomer and apparent restriction of the antibody response to IgA1 antibodies mainly directed at env glycoproteins.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


In a study population representing different CDC stages of HIV infection, 58% exhibited IgA hypergammaglobulinemia resulting from proportional increases in both the IgA1 and the IgA2 subclasses. These increases were detected early in infection, did not correlate with CD4 count, and remained elevated throughout disease progression. Absolute concentrations of polymeric IgA present within each subclass were unchanged, indicating that increased production of monomeric IgA1 and IgA2 were responsible for elevations of total IgA. These elevations were not completely attributable to a specific antibody response to viral infection, since Western blot analysis of purified IgA samples indicated that HIV-reactive IgA antibodies could be demonstrated only within the IgA1 subclass. Dominating IgA1 anti-HIV responses were also observed in two secretory IgA samples isolated from colostrum of healthy HIV seropositive mothers, suggesting that a similar isotype restriction exists in the mucosal IgA compartment. The binding of IgA1 to HIV proteins contrasted markedly to that observed with identical concentrations of IgG purified from the sera of the same patients. While IgG reacted more intensely and broadly with all HIV proteins, IgA1 antibodies were directed predominantly against envelope glycoproteins. In many patients, a total lack of IgA1 reactivity to gag and pol proteins was accompanied by intact IgG responses to these same antigens. Though all IgA samples examined reacted with HIV, fewer responses to gp160, gp120, and p24 were observed in samples from AIDS and AIDS-related complex (ARC) patients, suggesting a declining titer of IgA antibodies against these antigens may be associated with disease progression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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