Natural autoantibodies

Curr Opin Immunol. 1995 Dec;7(6):812-8. doi: 10.1016/0952-7915(95)80053-0.


Autoantibodies of the IgM, IgG and IgA classes, reactive with a variety of serum proteins, cell surface structures and intracellular structures, are 'naturally' found in all normal individuals. Present in human cord blood and in 'antigen-free' mice, their variable-region repertoire is selected by antigenic structures in the body and remains conserved throughout life. Encoded by germline genes with no, or few, mutations, natural autoantibodies are characteristically 'multireactive' and do not undergo affinity maturation in normal individuals. Natural autoantibodies may participate in a variety of physiological activities, from immune regulation, homeostasis and repertoire selection, to resistance to infections, transport and functional modulation of biologically active molecules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis
  • Autoantibodies / chemistry
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Cytokines