Immunoglobulin Transport during Gestation in Domestic Animals and Humans—A Review


Maternal immunity is the main early defense against infectious agents in newborns. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is indispensable for immune defense against infectious agents. IgG is transported through either the colostrum or the placenta. Immunoglobulins are antibodies, and the five different classes of these antibodies are IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE. Through their biological function of binding antigens, antibodies facilitate the removal of antigens from the body. The placenta is a temporary maternal-fetal organ, whose principal function is to allow the controlled exchange of metabolites between mother and embryo/fetus during gestation. The placenta types in different species are classified by the number of membranes separating the maternal and fetal blood circulation. Humans, lagomorphs and rodents have hemochorial placentas, which require a receptor for IgG transfer. In other animals, such as horse and pig (epitheliochorial placenta), ruminants (synepitheliochorial placenta) and carnivores (endotheliochorial placenta), antibodies are transferred via the colostrum and absorbed by passive diffusion. This review covers immunoglobulin transport in several types of placentas.

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Borghesi, J. , Mario, L. , Rodrigues, M. , Favaron, P. and Miglino, M. (2014) Immunoglobulin Transport during Gestation in Domestic Animals and Humans—A Review. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 4, 323-336. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2014.45041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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