The intestinal mucosa is densely packed with antibody-secreting B cells, the majority of which produce IgA. Mucosal antibodies have traditionally been thought of as neutralizing antibodies that exclude antigens, but they also function in antigen sampling, allowing for selective transcytosis of antigens from the intestinal lumen. IgE-mediated antigen uptake can facilitate the development of allergic reactions to foods, but emerging evidence indicates that IgG-mediated antigen uptake may also play an important role in the development of immune tolerance to foods, particularly in the neonate. This review will focus on the role of intestinal immunoglobulins in the development of clinical tolerance and allergy to food antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Immunopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Epithelium
  • Food allergy
  • Sensitization
  • Tolerance
  • Transcytosis


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