Differential binding of IgG and IgA antibodies to antigenic determinants of bovine serum albumin

C. Hilger*, F. Grigioni, C. De Beaufort, G. Michel, J. Freilinger, F. Hentges

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to investigate the recognition pattern of bovine serum albumin (BSA), a major dietary protein by serum IgG and IgA antibodies. Anti-BSA IgG and IgA antibodies were measured by ELISA technique in 3 different cohorts: 578 unselected persons, 84 new-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients and 103 atopic persons. In order to characterize the recognition pattern of the different BSA domains, recombinant BSA and recombinant fragments covering the 3 BSA domains were produced. BSA digestion was monitored in simulated gastric fluid experiments by means of domain specific monoclonal antibodies. IgG and IgA antibody titres to native BSA were highest in DDM patients. The three major BSA domains were equally well recognized by IgG antibodies of the three cohorts. Interestingly all three study groups showed a dissociation of their IgG and IgA antibody response to the first BSA domain. The ratio of IgG to IgA antibodies recognizing this domain was 93%/42% in controls, 92%/37% in IDDM patients and 80%/47% in atopic persons. In simulated gastric fluid experiments, the first BSA domain was the first to become undetectable to specific monoclonal antibodies during digestion. In conclusion humoral IgG and IgA antibodies recognize the major BSA domains with different frequencies. The N-terminal domain of BSA, the first to be degraded during simulated gastric digestion is less well recognized by IgA antibodies. This suggests that early digestion is negatively correlated to the IgA antibody response and that the IgA response associated to the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the systemic IgG antibody responses are independent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)387-394
    Number of pages8
    JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


    • Bovine serum albumin
    • Determinants
    • IgA
    • IgG
    • Simulated gastric fluid digestion


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