Serum IgD

In humans, serum IgD levels vary from 3 to 40 pgml-1, with some relationship to the Gm type of the individual. These low IgD levels are the product of IgD plasma cells that are found in low numbers in the spleen and, more frequently, in the tonsils. The low numbers of IgD plasma cells in the lymphoid tissues, together with the short half-life of the immunoglobulin (2.8 days), explain the low levels of IgD in the serum. The relative paucity of IgD plasma cells also explains the rarity of IgD myelomas. Similar conditions are also found in mice, in which there are two IgD allotypes, termed lg5a and Ig5b.

It is curious that no specific antibodies have been found so far in serum IgD, even after immunization, even though humans exposed to chronic antigen stimulation tend to express relatively higher serum IgD levels. Conversely, no specific effector function has been ascribed to the IgD isotype. Another curious finding with human serum IgD, but not membrane IgD, is that it is more commonly associated with Á. than with k light chains; similarly, human IgD myelomas with \ chains are about five times more frequent than those with k chains.

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