Abstract

Despite being the most abundantly secreted immunoglobulin isotype, the pattern of reactivity of immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies toward each individual’s own gut commensal bacteria still remains elusive. By colonizing germ-free mice with defined commensal bacteria, we found that the binding specificity of bulk fecal and serum IgA toward resident gut bacteria resolves well at the species level and has modest strain-level specificity. IgA hybridomas generated from lamina propria B cells of gnotobiotic mice showed that most IgA clones recognized a single bacterial species, whereas a small portion displayed cross-reactivity. Orally administered hybridoma-produced IgAs still retained bacterial antigen binding capability, implying the potential for a new class of therapeutic antibodies. Species-specific IgAs had a range of strain specificities. Given the distinctive bacterial species and strain composition found in each individual’s gut, our findings suggest the IgA antibody repertoire is shaped uniquely to bind “self” gut bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabg3208
JournalScience immunology
Volume7
Issue number73
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

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