Receptor mechanisms of the neonatal intestine and their relationship to immunoglobulin absorption and disease

J Dairy Sci. 1985 Jan;68(1):184-205. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(85)80812-2.


Immunoglobulin absorption by the calf has been the subject of considerable research. Despite these efforts little is known about the cytological events that occur at the level of the intestinal epithelial cell. These events have been studied extensively and characterized in the laboratory rodent; however, there have been few attempts to make corollaries between the two species. All neonatal animals display certain similarities in their intestinal morphology that may be correlated, with immunoglobulin absorption. Selectivity in absorption appears to be variable among neonatal animal species; however, all demonstrate some selectivity. Selectivity in absorption implies that receptors are a necessary component in the transport of immunoglobulins. Selectivity further requires binding of immunoglobulins to an endocytic vesicle membrane to ensure transport through the cell, circumvention of intracellular digestion, and release at the basolateral cell membrane. A decrease of immunoglobulin absorption may be accomplished in a variety of ways such as competition between intestinal microbes and immunoglobulins for a common receptor on the intestinal epithelial cell. An additional consideration is aberrant synthesis or recycling of the cell membrane receptor, as induced by metabolic decelerators such as cortisol. Failure to recycle immunoglobulin receptors also would decrease efficiency of absorption.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animal Diseases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / anatomy & histology*
  • Colostrum
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulins / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Immunologic