Original Articles

Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 145-151

First online:

Half-life of the maternal IgG1 allotype in infants

  • H. SarvasAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki
  • , I. SeppäläAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki
  • , S. KurikkaAffiliated withNational Public Health Institute
  • , Rita SiegbergAffiliated withDepartment I of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • , O. MäkeläAffiliated withDepartment of Bacteriology and Immunology, University of Helsinki

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The residence time of maternal IgG1 in the circulation of infants was measured by monitoring f-allotypic IgG1 or f-positive tetanus toxoid antibody in geneticallyG1m f -negative infants.G1m a -positive maternal tetanus toxoid antibody was similarly monitored in genetically a-negative infants. Blood samples were taken from infants at the age of 1–3 days, ca. 4 months, and ca. 6 months. An exponential decay at the same rate took place from age 1–3 days to 4 months and for the 2 subsequent months. The average concentration of the maternal IgG1 had dropped to ca. 10% of the 1- to 3-day value in 4 months and to ca. 3% in 6 months. The drop was due mainly to clearance but partly also to the weight increase of the child (doubling in 6 months). By correcting for the weight increase, we calculated that ca. 17 and 7% of the original maternal IgG1 was still present at ages 4 and 6 months, respectively. The average half-life of the maternal IgG1 was thus 48.4 days. The concentration of endogenous IgG1 in the cord blood was determined by studying a separate series of mother-newborn pairs. Assuming that cross-reactions of antiallotype reagents had no effect, the highest measured concentration of f-positive IgG1 in infants of f-negative mothers was 10 mg/L, half a percent of adult heterozygote values. Crossreaction may have played a role, however, and the value must be considered the upper limit of the true concentration.

Key words

Half-life IgG Gm allotypes