Detection of Food Antigen-Specific IgA Immune Complexes in Human Sera
The functions of immunoglobulins in disposal of antigens and immune complexes (IC) depends critically upon the isotype of Ig involved. In particular, the fate of IC containing IgA differs from that of IC containing IgG or IgM, because in contrast to the latter two, IgA does not readily activate complement or promote phagocytosis (1). Deposits of IgA, thought to represent IgA-IC, occur in skin or kidneys in certain disease states such as dermatitis herpetiformis, and IgA nephropathy (2). IgA antibodies are induced by gut antigens including food materials, and may be involved in limiting both the absorption of enteric macromolecules and the immune response to them (3). Investigation of these possibilities in human subjects necessitates a means of detecting IgA-IC containing specific antigens. We have developed a method of detecting IgA-IC containing bovine milk proteins, and have used it to detect such IC in sera of normal subjects as well as patients with IgA nephropathy.
KeywordsImmune Complex Whey Protein Human Seron Dermatitis Herpetiformis Normal Seron
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