Is Xenopus IgX an analog of IgA?



Using class specific monoclonal antibodies we analyzed the tissue distribution of B cells expressing the three immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes (IgM, IgX, IgY) in Xenopus. Large numbers of IgM- and IgX-, but not IgY-, positive B cells are located in the gut epithelium of the intestine. In this organ up to 60% of all B cells can be IgX positive, while in the spleen or liver they are hardly detectable. The majority of IgX-producing cells resemble plasma cells. IgY-producing cells are found in the liver and spleen but not in the intestine. In contrast to IgY, the expression of IgM and IgX is thymus independent. Upon systemic immunization, a several-fold increase of specific IgM and IgY, but not IgX, antibodies was detected in the sera. This and its association with the mucosae of the intestine resembles results reported for mammalian IgA; therefore, IgX of Xenopus might be considered an analog of IgA.