Strong Clonal Relatedness between Serum and Gut IgA despite Different Plasma Cell Origins

Cell Rep. 2017 Sep 5;20(10):2357-2367. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.036.


Mucosal antigens induce generation of lamina propria plasma cells (PCs) that secrete dimeric immunoglobulin A (IgA) destined for transport across the epithelium. In addition, blood contains monomeric IgA. To study the relationship between mucosal and systemic antibody responses, we took advantage of celiac disease patient samples for isolation of gut PCs as well as serum IgA and IgG reactive with a gluten-derived peptide or the autoantigen transglutaminase 2. Proteomic analysis of serum IgA revealed antigen-specific V-gene preferences, which matched those found in gut PCs. Further, gut PC CDR-H3 sequences were abundant in serum IgA but also detectable in serum IgG. Our data indicate that the same B cell clones that give rise to gut PCs also contribute to the serum antibody pool. However, serum IgA antibodies had a molecular composition distinct from that of IgA antibodies secreted in the gut, suggesting that individual B cell clones give rise to different PC populations.

Keywords: antibodies; autoimmunity; celiac disease; mass spectrometry; mucosal immune system; next-generation sequencing; plasma cells; proteomics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal / physiology
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Infant
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Plasma Cells / metabolism*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • Proteomics
  • Transglutaminases / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Protein Glutamine gamma Glutamyltransferase 2
  • Transglutaminases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins