Research Press Release

Mystery solved for immunoglobulin D role

Nature Immunology

June 29, 2009

The function of the antibody called immunoglobulin D has puzzled immunologists for years. A study in Nature Immunology reports that immunoglobulin D helps combat upper respiratory infections.

Andrea Cerutti and colleagues show antibody-producing cells located in tonsils and upper airway tissues release immunoglobulin D (IgD). IgD then recognizes bacteria and other disease-causing microbes. IgD-bound bacteria trigger immune cells known as basophils to release fever-inducing agents and a variety of antimicrobial substances to rid the infectious agent.

This work therefore places IgD antibodies as a foot soldier in the immune arsenal against respiratory infections.

DOI:10.1038/ni.1748 | Original article

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