Antibodies have demonstrated having a protective effect in animal models of tuberculosis (TB). These experiments have considered the specificity of antigen recognition and the different isotypes and subclasses as significant contributors of this effect. However, the carbohydrate chain heterogeneity on the Fc region of IgG (Fc-IgG) can play an important role in modulating the immune response. Patients with TB usually have high titers of specific IgG; however, the carbohydrate associated with Fc-IgG usually lacks galactose. To assess the effect of this abnormal IgG in murine pulmonary TB, we evaluated the specificity of recognition to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in vitro and protective effects in vivo comparing human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and IVIg treated with an endoglycosidase to remove the glycan residues (EndoS-treated IVIg). Our results showed similar antigen recognition. The study of distribution and kinetics of IVIg in serum and bronchial lavage after intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration in mice showed that IVIg circulates for 21 days. Finally, the protective effect of intact and EndoS-treated IVIg administered by i.p was studied in a murine model of progressive TB. IVIg treatment caused reduction in pulmonary bacilli loads, larger granulomas, and less pneumonia, while animals treated with EndoS-treated IVIg were not protected compared with control animals. Thus, IVIg has a protective activity in experimental pulmonary TB, and this effect requires intact Fc oligosaccharides.
Keywords: IVIG; Immunotherapy; antibodies; experimental models; glycosylation; tuberculosis.
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