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Protein Is Necessary for Immunity Through Breast Milk

Antibody-secreting lymphocytes directed to lactating breast

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A protein involved in directing antibody-secreting lymphocytes to the right location is necessary to direct large numbers of these cells to the lactating breast so the antibodies can be passed on to the baby, according to a report in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Immunology.

Olivier Morteau, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues generated mice deficient in CCR10, a chemokine receptor involved in directing lymphocytes secreting immunoglobulin A (IgA) to mucosal tissues via its interaction with CCL28.

The researchers found that mice lacking CCR10 had more than 70-fold fewer IgA antibody-secreting cells in lactating mammary glands. In contrast, there was little effect on the accumulation of these cells in the large intestine, even though CCL28 is abundantly expressed there.

"These results provide the first direct evidence of CCR10 involvement in lymphocyte homing and accumulation in vivo, and demonstrate that reliance on CCR10-mediated recruitment of IgA antibody-secreting cells varies dramatically within mucosal tissues," Morteau and colleagues conclude.

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