Antibody repertoire development in fetal and neonatal piglets. XVII. IgG subclass transcription revisited with emphasis on new IgG3.

Journal of Immunology 177(8):5480 (2006) PMID 17015734

Fetal piglets offer an in vivo model for determining whether Ag-independent IgG subclass transcription proceeds in a manner that differs from subclass transcription in pigs exposed to environmental Ags and TLR ligands. Our data from approximately 12,000 Cgamma clones from > 60 piglets provide the first report on the relative usage of all known porcine Cgamma genes in fetal and young pigs. Studies revealed that among the six Cgamma genes, allelic variants of IgG1 comprised 50-80% of the repertoire, and IgG2 alleles comprised < 10% in nearly all tissues. However, relative transcription of allelic variants of IgG1 randomly deviate from the 1:1 ratio expected in heterozygotes. Most surprising was the finding that IgG3 accounted for half of all Cgamma transcripts in the ileal Peyer's patches (IPPs) and mesenteric lymph nodes but on average only approximately 5% of the clones from the thymus, tonsil, spleen, peripheral blood, and bone marrow of newborns. Lymphoid tissues from late term fetuses revealed a similar expression pattern. Except for IgG3 in the IPPs and mesenteric lymph nodes, no stochastic pattern of Cgamma expression during development was seen in animals from mid-gestation through 5 mo. The age and tissue dependence of IgG3 transcription paralleled the developmental persistence of the IPP, and its near disappearance corresponds to the diversification of the preimmune VDJ repertoire in young piglets. We hypothesize that long-hinged porcine IgG3 may be important in preadaptive responses to T cell-independent Ags similar to those described for its murine namesake.