Immunoglobulin G; structure and functional implications of different subclass modifications in initiation and resolution of allergy

Immun Inflamm Dis. 2018 Mar;6(1):13-33. doi: 10.1002/iid3.192. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


IgE and not IgG is usually associated with allergy. IgE lodged on mast cells in skin or gut and basophils in the blood allows for the prolonged duration of allergy through the persistent expression of high affinity IgE receptors. However, many allergic reactions are not dependent on IgE and are generated in the absence of allergen specific and even total IgE. Instead, IgG plasma cells are involved in induction of, and for much of the pathogenesis of, allergic diseases. The pattern of IgG producing plasma cells in atopic children and the tendency for direct or further class switching to IgE are the principle factors responsible for long-lasting sensitization of mast cells in allergic children. Indirect class switching from IgG producing plasma cells has been shown to be the predominant pathway for production of IgE while a Th2 microenvironment, genetic predisposition, and the concentration and nature of allergens together act on IgG plasma cells in the atopic tendency to undergo further immunoglobulin gene recombination. The seminal involvement of IgG in allergy is further indicated by the principal role of IgG4 in the natural resolution of allergy and as the favourable immunological response to immunotherapy. This paper will look at allergy through the role of different antibodies than IgE and give current knowledge of the nature and role of IgG antibodies in the start, maintenance and resolution of allergy.

Keywords: Allergy; antibodies; cells; mast cells/basophils; molecules; processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Mast Cells / immunology*
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Plasma Cells / immunology*
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / pathology


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin E