Original Article

Springer Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 425-432

First online:

Natural serum IgM maintains immunological homeostasis and prevents autoimmunity

  • Jessica J. MansonAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology, University College London
  • , Claudia MauriAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology, University College London
  • , Michael R. EhrensteinAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology, University College London Email author 

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Abstract

Natural (i.e. low-affinity, preimmune) IgM has a wide range of actions in the immune system. That IgM is important in defence against infection has been recognised for many years but recently, due to the generation of mouse models specifically deficient in serum IgM, other functions of serum IgM have been revealed. The participation of natural IgM in autoimmunity has been a subject of speculation for some time, but there is recent definitive evidence that demonstrates its protective role. This review focuses on these new areas of research, which also show that many pathologies not normally recognised as having an immunological basis are modulated by serum IgM.

Keywords

Antibodies B lymphocyte development Apoptosis Phosphatidylcholine