University of Oulu

Miia A. Mella, Anton Lavrinienko, Ramin Akhi, Rasmus Hindström, Antti E. Nissinen, Chunguang Wang, Arja Kullaa, Tuula Salo, Juha Auvinen, Janne J. Koskimäki, Sohvi Hörkkö (2021) Compensatory IgM to the Rescue: Patients with Selective IgA Deficiency Have Increased Natural IgM Antibodies to MAA–LDL and No Changes in Oral Microbiota, ImmunoHorizons April 1, 2021, 5 (4) 170-181; DOI: 10.4049/immunohorizons.2100014

Compensatory IgM to the rescue : patients with selective IgA deficiency have increased natural IgM antibodies to MAA–LDL and no changes in oral microbiota

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Author: Mella, Miia A.1; Lavrinienko, Anton2,3; Akhi, Ramin1;
Organizations: 1Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
3Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Cardiovascular Research Unit, Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, Helsinki, Finland
5Department of Dentistry, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6Translational Immunology Research Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
7Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
8Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
10Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Association of Immunologists, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-24


IgA is the most abundant Ab in the human body. However, most patients with selective IgA deficiency (SIgAD) are asymptomatic. IgM, and to lesser extent IgG Abs, are generally presumed to compensate for the lack of IgA in SIgAD by multiplying and adopting functions of IgA. We used data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 to investigate whether SIgAD patients have differences in levels of natural Abs to oxidized epitopes compared with 20 randomly selected healthy controls. First, we screened the saliva and serum samples from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 cohort (n = 1610) for IgA concentration. We detected five IgA-deficient subjects, yielding a prevalence of 0.3%, which is consistent with the general prevalence of 0.25% in the Finnish population. To detect natural Abs, we used malondialdehyde acetaldehyde–low-density lipoprotein (MAA–LDL), an Ag known to bind natural Abs. In this study, we show that natural secretory IgM and IgG Abs to MAA–DL were significantly increased in subjects with SIgAD. Given that secretory IgA is an important part of mucosal immune defense and that, in the gut microbiota, dysbiosis with SIgAD patients has been observed, we characterized the oral bacterial microbiota of the subjects with and without SIgAD using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We found no significant alterations in diversity and composition of the oral microbiota in subjects with SIgAD. Our data suggest that increased levels of secretory natural Abs in patients with SIgAD could be a compensatory mechanism, providing alternative first-line defense against infections and adjusting mucosal milieu to maintain a healthy oral microbiota.

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Series: ImmunoHorizons
ISSN: 2573-7732
ISSN-E: 2573-7732
ISSN-L: 2573-7732
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Pages: 170 - 181
DOI: 10.4049/immunohorizons.2100014
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: This work was supported by the Research Fund of the Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, and Oulu University Hospital and Research Fund of Oulu University Hospital/Special State Support for Research. Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 received financial support from University of Oulu Grant 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant 24301140, and European Regional Development Fund Grant 539/2010 A31592. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Unported license.