Role of natural and immune IgM antibodies in immune responses

Mol Immunol. 2000 Dec;37(18):1141-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-5890(01)00025-6.


IgM antibodies constitute the major component of the natural antibodies and is also the first class of antibodies produced during a primary antibody response. The IgM-type antibodies differ from other classes of antibodies in that they are predominantly produced by B1 cells, in the absence of apparent stimulation by specific antigens. In addition, IgM antibodies are mostly encoded by germline V gene segments and have low affinities but broad specificites to both foreign and self structures. New developments regarding the function of both immune IgM antibodies and natural IgM antibodies will be examined here.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Formation
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Complement System Proteins