Treatment with low doses of polyclonal immunoglobulin improves B cell function during immune reconstitution in a murine model

Ana Barahona Afonso, Lígia Neves Justo, Ana Cristina Queirós, Constantin Fesel, Maria Salomé Cabral, Maria Gomes Da Silva, Luis Porrata, Svetomir Markovic, Ana Elisabete Pires, Cristina João

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Propose: After autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) the immunological B cell compartment recovers slowly. Delays on the recovery of B cell function after autologous stem cell transplantation are due to the low lymphocytes count and to their intrinsic dysfunction. Methods: We studied the in vivo B cell reconstitution after ASCT examining the independent effect of polyclonal IgG (PolyIg), Fab or Fc fragments infusions in a murine animal model during a period of 12 weeks. These molecules were used in low doses, mimicking the recommended use of IVIg in the case of hypogammaglobulinemia in humans. Flow cytometry analysis and ELISA tests were conducted to monitor the reconstitution of B cells and serum immunoglobulin production. Panama blot and PCA factor 1 analysis were used to study the kinetics of immunoglobulin repertoires reconstitution. Mechanistic studies were also performed using in vitro cell culture. Results: During follow-up after ASCT, peripheral B cells expand independently of treatment, correcting the immediate increase in sBAFF (soluble B cell activating factor) induced by previous intense myeloablation. Treatments with Fab and Fc fragments infusions promote significant IgM and IgG production comparing to control. Although the complete recovery of antibody repertoire is only achieved at the end of follow-up after ASCT, there is an earlier and significantly stronger recovery in the treated mice, which is evident at 9 weeks after ASCT. At 30 weeks after ASCT, normal values of antibody repertoire were detected in all individuals. Mechanistic studies show that Fab and Fc fragments promote IgG1 production by indirect pathways. Conclusions: The results presented here demonstrate that polyclonal immunoglobulin indirectly improves the function of the reconstituted B cells and their IgG production by means of Fc-mediated effects on bystander cells. These results further stimulate the discussion about the advantages of IVIg therapy during immune reconstitution after human ASCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-419
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • B cell function
  • IgM repertoire
  • Immune reconstitution
  • Polyclonal immunoglobulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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