Intestinal IgA synthesis: regulation of front-line body defences

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Jan;3(1):63-72. doi: 10.1038/nri982.


Immunoglobulin A is the most abundant immunoglobulin isotype in mucosal secretions. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the sites, mechanisms and functions of intestinal IgA synthesis in mice. On the basis of these recent findings, we propose an updated model for the induction and regulation of IgA responses in the gut. In addition, we discuss new insights into the role of IgA in the maintenance of gut homeostasis and into the reciprocal interactions between gut B cells and the bacterial flora.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeostasis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin A / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching / genetics
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism


  • Immunoglobulin A