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Antibodies given orally in the neonatal period can affect the immune response for two generations: evidence for active maternal influence on the newborn's immune system.

Journal article
Authors Anna Dahlman-Höglund
Inger Pettersson
Ulf Dahlgren
Lars Åke Hanson
Esbjörn Telemo
Samuel B Lundin
Published in Scandinavian journal of immunology
Volume 50
Issue 6
Pages 651-6
ISSN 0300-9475
Publication year 1999
Published at Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Immunology
Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Institute of Medical Microbiology/Immunology
Pages 651-6
Language en
Keywords Administration, Oral, Animals, Animals, Newborn, immunology, Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic, administration & dosage, immunology, Antibodies, Bacterial, administration & dosage, immunology, Antibodies, Monoclonal, administration & dosage, immunology, Antigens, Bacterial, Antigens, Surface, immunology, Escherichia coli, immunology, Female, Immune Tolerance, Immunity, Innate, genetics, Immunity, Maternally-Acquired, Immunization, Passive, Immunoglobulin G, administration & dosage, immunology, Intestines, microbiology, Male, Mice, Ovalbumin, genetics, immunology, Pregnancy, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, immunology
Subject categories Allergology, Clinical immunology


Two day old Wistar rats were tube fed with 1 or 10 micrograms of a mouse IgG1 monoclonal anti-idiotypic (a-Id) antibody that was directed against an anti-Escherichia coli-K13 capsular polysaccharide antibody. A control group was given 10 micrograms of an unrelated control antibody. Six weeks after the administration of antibodies, the rats were intestinally colonised with an ovalbumin (OVA)-producing E. coli O6K13 strain. At 8 weeks of age, the male rats (first generation) and the offsprings of the female rats (second generation), were parenterally immunised with OVA and dead wild type E. coli O6K13, and the immune response was followed. In the rats of the first generation, there were no major differences between the groups in the immune response to the bacterium. However, the offspring of the neonatally a-Id administered rats had a profoundly affected immune response to the idiotypically connected antigen K13, but also to other antigens on the bacteria. Thus, a-Id treatment in the first generation gave, in the second generation, a greatly enhanced serum antibody response to the spatially related antigens OVA and O6 LPS, as well as to the idiotypically connected antigen K13. Concurrently, the in vitro spleen cell proliferative response to both OVA and the wild type bacterium was lowered. Overall, greater effects were seen with the higher dose of a-Id. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that by giving monoclonal antibodies idiotypically connected to a single bacterial component to neonatal rats, one profoundly influence the immune response also to other-spatially related-bacterial antigens in their offsprings.

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