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J Virol. 1995 Feb;69(2):1339-43.

Intracellular neutralization of influenza virus by immunoglobulin A anti-hemagglutinin monoclonal antibodies.

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Department of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 44106.


Traditionally, immunoglobulin A (IgA) was thought to neutralize virus by forming complexes with viral attachment proteins, blocking attachment of virions to host epithelial cells. Recently we have proposed an intracellular action for dimeric IgA, which is actively transported through epithelial cells by the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR), in that it may be able to bind to newly synthesized viral proteins within the cell, preventing viral assembly. To this effect, we have previously demonstrated that IgA monoclonal antibodies against Sendai virus, a parainfluenza virus, colocalize with the viral hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein within infected epithelial cells and reduce intracellular viral titers. Here we determine whether IgA can interact with influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein within epithelial cells. Polarized monolayers of Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells expressing the pIgR were infected on their apical surfaces with influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8-Mount Sinai. Polymeric IgA anti-HA, but not IgG anti-HA, delivered to the basolateral surface colocalized with HA protein within the cell by immunofluorescence. Compared with those of controls, viral titers were reduced in the supernatants and cell lysates from monolayers treated with anti-HA IgA but not with anti-HA IgG. Furthermore, the addition of anti-IgA antibodies to supernatants did not interfere with the neutralizing activity of IgA placed in the basal chamber, indicating that IgA was acting within the cell and not in the extracellular medium to interrupt viral replication. Thus, these studies provide additional support for the concept that IgA can inhibit replication of microbial pathogens intracellularly.

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