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Lung Epithelial Cells Can Produce Antibodies Participating In Adaptive Humoral Immune Responses

By Erya Gao, Wenwei Shao, Chi Zhang, Meng Yu, Hui Dai, Tianrui Fan, Zhu Zhu, Weiyan Xu, Jing Huang, Youhui Zhang, Zhihai Qin, Xiaoyan Qiu

Posted 15 May 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.13.443498

It is generally believed that the main source of antibodies is B lymphocytes. In this study, our results first revealed that B cell-deficient mice could not produce antibodies specific for TI-Ags; however, mice with B cell deficiency could produce TD-Ag-specific antibodies, although antibody production was delayed compared with that in BALB/c mice after primary TD-Ag challenge. Subsequently, we identified that mouse lung epithelial cells could produce and secrete Ig, including IgM, IgA or IgG, which could display TD-Ag-specific antibody activity. Notably, the production of TD-Ag-specific antibodies by lung epithelial cells was found to be dependent on CD4+ T cells but not CD8+ T cells. Our findings indicate for the first time that B cells are not the only source of TD-Ag-specific antibodies but are essential for rapid TD-Ag-specific antibody production by non-B cells. This discovery may reveal a new mechanism for the production of specific antibodies.

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