Contrasting IgA and IgG neutralization capacities and responses to HIV type 1 gp120 V3 loop in HIV-infected individuals

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1994 Jul;10(7):813-22. doi: 10.1089/aid.1994.10.813.


Quantitative analysis for HIV-1-specific antibodies present in IgA and IgG preparations purified from the serum of HIV-seropositive individuals indicated that the proportion of HIV-specific antibodies present within the IgG isotype was seven times greater than the proportion of IgA HIV antibodies present within the IgA isotype. Dilution of IgA HIV-specific antibodies by nonspecific IgA was observed in patients with elevated serum IgA concentrations, whereas proportions of IgG HIV antibodies rose with increases in concentrations of serum IgG. Although proportions of IgA HIV antibodies were not observed to correlate with the CD4 counts of the individuals from whom immunoglobulins were purified, a significant association between the numbers of such cells and proportion of HIV antibodies present in the IgG isotype was found. Equivalent amounts of IgG were also more effective than IgA at inhibiting HIV-1IIIB infection of a susceptible T cell line. This may be due to the presence of higher proportions of IgG antibodies directed toward non-V3 determinants because reactivity against an HIV-1IIIB V3 peptide was low and did not differ significantly between these isotopes. IgA antibodies reacting against a V3 peptide containing the HIV consensus sequence could be detected in the majority of IgA samples purified from infected individuals. Proportions of IgG consensus V3-specific antibodies within the purified IgG samples were, however, much higher. The presence of accompanying increases in serum IgG concentration and proportions of IgG HIV antibodies, higher proportions of both HIV- and consensus V3-specific antibodies within this isotype, and more effective neutralization by IgG suggests that an HIV-driven response is dominated by B cells committed to production of this immunoglobulin isotype. The observed low proportions of HIV antigen-specific IgA antibodies with dilution in many individuals by elevations in non-HIV-specific IgA suggests that IgA B cells may be more susceptible to factors that mediate the polyclonal activation believed to be responsible for many of the B cell disorders characteristic of HIV infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • HIV Antibodies / blood*
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / genetics
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neutralization Tests


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Viral
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G