The kinetics and isotype profile of influenza virus-specific IgG antibodies were studied in correlation with the serum titre of IgG-reactive autoantibodies. An increased level of IgG isotype-specific, rheumatoid factor-type autoantibody secretion was observed in the late phase of the virus-specific memory response. These rheumatoid factors were specific for the IgG2a and IgG1 subclasses which dominated the anti-viral antibody response. As revealed by a preparative immunosorbent technique combined with isotype quantitation the majority of IgG2a- or IgG1-bound immunoglobulins isolated from the serum of virus-infected mice belonged to the same subclass as the target antibody. Comparison of the kinetics of appearance and the number of IgM-, IgG- and IgA-type IgG2a-reactive autoantibody secreting cells during the primary and memory anti-viral antibody responses showed isotype switch of IgM rheumatoid factor secreting cells predominantly to IgA. Localization of IgM and IgA antibody secreting cells demonstrated the wide organ distribution of IgM-type rheumatoid factor secreting cells. On the contrary, IgA rheumatoid factor production was observed only in Peyer's patches and at the site of the local virus-specific immune response, i.e. in mediastinal lymph nodes and in the lung. These results demonstrate that B cells specific for self IgG are activated and differentiated in concert with the virus-specific antibody response in similar microenvironments. The predominant involvement of the mediastinal lymph nodes and the spleen in the production of IgG2a-specific IgM-type autoantibodies suggest a regulatory function of this type of autoantibodies in modulating IgG2a production in both systemic and local anti-viral immune responses. The results also suggest a strictly regulated rheumatoid factor production which, however, can be unbalanced by repeated viral infections resulting in the escape of high affinity, isotype-switched autoantibodies.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1996|
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