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Pediatr Res. 2004 Oct;56(4):519-25. Epub 2004 Aug 19.

The hyper IgM syndrome--an evolving story.

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Department of Pediatrics, Meyer Children's Hospital, B. Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel 31096.


The hyper IgM syndromes (HIGM) are a group of primary immune deficiency disorders characterized by defective CD40 signaling by B cells affecting class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation. As a consequence, patients with HIGM have decreased concentrations of serum IgG and IgA and normal or elevated IgM, leading to increased susceptibility to infections. The most common HIGM syndrome is X-linked and due to mutations of CD40 ligand (CD40L) expressed by activated CD4(+) T lymphocytes. Four other genes, expressed by B cells, have been associated with the HIGM phenotype. Mutations of CD40, the receptor for CD40L, cause a rare autosomal form of HIGM with a clinical phenotype similar to CD40L deficiency. Mutations of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase (AICDA) and Uracil (DNA) Glycosylase (UNG), both expressed by follicular B lymphocytes, lead to defective class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation. Mutations of Nuclear Factor kappa B Essential Modulator (NEMO), an X-chromosome associated gene, result in hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia and immune deficiency. Thus, the molecular definition of these rare primary immune deficiency disorders has shed light on the complex events leading to the production of high-affinity, antigen-specific antibodies of different isotypes.

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