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J Infect Dis. 1994 Aug;170(2):299-307.

Intestinal mucosal immunoglobulins during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection.

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Department of Medicine, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55417.


In intestinal fluid samples from 39 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients, IgA and IgG levels were equivalent, whereas in 10 controls, IgA levels were significantly higher than those of IgG (P < .05). Intestinal IgA in patients contained predominantly monomeric IgA1, whereas IgA1 and IgA2 subclass levels in controls were nearly equivalent and primarily polymeric. The predominance of IgG and monomeric IgA1 in mucosal fluid samples from HIV-1-infected patients suggests exudation of serum immunoglobulins into the intestine. The decreased proportion of mucosal plasma cells producing IgA and IgA2 in the HIV-1-infected patients (P < .01) may also contribute to the abnormal intestinal immunoglobulin levels. Intestinal IgG reacted with most HIV-1 antigens, whereas specific IgA was present in only 10 of 17 patients and reacted with only envelope (gp120 and gp160) and, less often, core (p17 and p24) antigens. Aberrant mucosal antibody responses and decreased integrity of the mucosal barrier may contribute to the intestinal dysfunction and infections that characterize HIV-1 infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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