Send to

Choose Destination
APMIS. 1995 Apr;103(4):241-6.

IgA and mucosal defense.

Author information

Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-4907, USA.


The traditional role of IgA antibodies in mucosal defense has been considered as providing an immune barrier to keep exogenous substances, including microbial pathogens, from penetrating the mucosa. In this way infections can be prevented. More recently, studies in vitro and in vivo are providing evidence to suggest that IgA may have additional roles in mucosal defense. For example, during their passage through the lining epithelial cells of mucous membranes en route to the secretions, IgA antibodies may have an opportunity to neutralize intracellular pathogens like viruses. Also, IgA antibodies in the mucosal lamina propria have opportunities to complex with antigens and excrete them through the adjacent mucosal epithelium, again by the same route to the secretions that is taken by free IgA. These latter functions could aid in recovery from infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center