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Antibody response to sheep red blood cells in platypus and echidna

Authors
Journal
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology
1095-6433
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
136
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1095-6433(03)00325-8
Keywords
  • Monotremes
  • Echidna
  • Platypus
  • Antibody Response
  • Igm
  • Igg
  • Ig Isotype Switch

Abstract

Abstract There is limited information regarding the kinetics of antibody responses exhibited by the platypus and the echidna in response to a T cell dependent antigen. In this preliminary study a platypus, an echidna and a rabbit were inoculated with sheep red blood cells to compare their antibody responses and kinetics. The antibody titres, produced by the platypus and echidna, were less than those elicited in the rabbit. Furthermore, the echidna and platypus exhibited a weak secondary response. This was most likely due to a failure of the platypus and echidna to undergo the characteristic IgM to IgG isotype switch following second antigen exposure. The conformational structure of these antibodies may differ from eutherian antibodies. This was further supported by a heat sensitivity experiment that indicated that these antibodies are more labile than rabbit immunoglobulins and therefore structurally less stable.

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