Transfer of natural auto-antibodies via egg yolk in chickens divergently selected for natural antibodies binding keyhole limpet hemocyanin

Kaylee S.E. van Dijk, Henk K. Parmentier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Barcodes of natural auto-antibody (NAAb) profiles based on staining intensity of isotypes binding numbers of self-(tissue) antigen fragments were suggested as parameters for immune diversity, and related to genetic background and health status in man, rodents and poultry. Here, hens, eggs and hatchlings from chicken lines divergently selected and bred for high (H line) or low (L line) total natural antibodies (NAb) levels in plasma binding keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) at 16 weeks of age were tested for their NAAb repertoire binding chicken liver homogenate (CLH) fragments using quantitative Western immunoblotting. The aims of this study were 1. to detect line differences between the H and L line adult hens, eggs and hatchlings for the IgM and IgG isotypes binding CLH fragments, 2. study the presence of NAAb of both isotypes in yolk and albumen, as well as in hatchlings to detect a maternal NAAb transfer route via the egg to the hatchling, and 3. study whether new self-antigen binding isotypes and idiotypes are present in the hatchling. NAAb binding CLH fragments were found in plasma of adult hens (both IgM and IgG), in yolk (IgG only), and hatchlings (mostly IgG, but low levels of IgM). Auto-profiles of IgM showed homogeneity, while IgG profiles were heterogenic between individual hens and individual hatchlings. Significant higher levels as indicated by staining intensity and number of stained CLH fragments were found in plasma of hens genetically selected for high levels of NAb binding KLH. Lines could be clustered based on their auto-profiles indicating that profiles of self-binding IgM and IgG antibodies are genetically based. Visual comparison, clustering and correlation of hens and their hatchlings showed similarities for the IgG, but not the IgM isotype, indicating maternal transfer of IgG NAAb via the yolk. The IgM profile in the hatchlings on the other hand might represent neonatal self-binding antibody formation. As a consequence, hatchlings initially depend for self-binding antibodies on maternal IgG provision during early life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103466
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Chicken
  • Maternal transfer
  • Natural (auto-) antibodies
  • Selection lines
  • Western blot

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