Author(s): Larson BL, Heary HL Jr, Devery JE
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Abstract In origin immunoglobulins in mammary secretions are both humoral, arising from the blood stream, and local, arising from production by plasmacytes in the mammary gland. The relative importance of each of these sources varies between species. In some species (human, rabbit, etc.), the transfer of maternal immunoglobulins to the blood stream of the neonate occurs in utero across the placenta or yolk sac membrane. In other species, including ruminants, transfer of maternal immunoglobulins to the neonate occurs exclusively via the colostrum. Both in utero and colostral routes of transfer are operative in other species. The concentration and class of immunoglobulins in the colostrum and milk of a species reflect the route and origin of the immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins transferred in quantity in utero or via the colostrum are mainly of the IgG class. Immunoglobulins locally produced by plasmacytes located adjacent to the secretory epithelium and in the mammary secretions are largely of the IgA and IgM classes. The bovine transfers large amounts of IgG immunoglobulins, and IgG1 in particular, from the blood stream across the mammary barrier into colostrum (and milk) by a specific transport mechanism. Bovine colostrum and milk also contain much smaller amounts of locally produced IgA and IgM.
This article was published in J Dairy Sci
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