Placental transport of immunoglobulin G

Vaccine. 2003 Jul 28;21(24):3365-9. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(03)00334-7.


Maternal antibodies transported across the placenta protect the newborn. Maternal immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations in fetal blood increase from early in the second trimester through term, most antibodies being acquired during the third trimester. IgG1 is the most efficiently transported subclass and IgG2 the least. Transfer across the syncytiotrophoblast of the chorionic villi is mediated by the neonatal Fc receptor, FcRn. Immune complexes are absorbed in the stroma of the villi, probably by FcgammaRI, FcgammaRII, and FcgammaRIII on placental macrophages. The mechanism of IgG transport across the endothelium of fetal capillaries is not understood. Endothelial cells in terminal villi express FcgammaRIIb. However, it is not known whether this receptor transports IgG or prevents transport of immune complexes to the fetus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Transport
  • Female
  • Fetus / immunology
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology*
  • Placenta / cytology
  • Placenta / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, IgG