Characterization of secretory component in amniotic fluid: Identification of new forms of secretory IgA

Mark G. Cleveland, Mary Ann Bakos, Debra L. Pyron, Srinivasan Rajaraman, Randall M. Goldblum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Amniotic fluid (AmF) contains low levels of IgA of fetal origin. Western blot analysis revealed that the major forms of IgA in human AmF contain secretory component (SC), but ranged in size between 170 and 200 kDa, unlike the 380-kDa size typical of previously described secretory (S)IgA. Preliminary characterization of these novel forms of slgA suggests they may arise by reduction of selected disulfide bonds, rather than proteolytic cleavage, of 380-kDa slgA. This study also shows that AmF contains SC in its free form. Free SC measured by ELISA in 30 AmF samples increased with gestational age of the fetus from 26 to 40 wk postconception. Late in gestation, the concentrations of free SC levels reached those of other external secretions. Both the fetal urogenital system and the amniotic membrane appear to contribute to both the free SC and slgA in AmF. This report presents the initial description of a new form of slgA and provides evidence that the AmF may be an early expression of the mucosal immune system in the developing fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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