Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(2):617-636. doi:10.7150/ijbs.67203 This issue

Research Paper

The Different Immune Responses by Age Are due to the Ability of the Fetal Immune System to Secrete Primal Immunoglobulins Responding to Unexperienced Antigens

Jangho Lee, Kyoungshik Cho, Hyejin Kook, Suman Kang, Yunsung Lee, Jiwon Lee

R&D Center of Stemmedicare Ltd, Seoul, 06095, Republic of Korea.

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Citation:
Lee J, Cho K, Kook H, Kang S, Lee Y, Lee J. The Different Immune Responses by Age Are due to the Ability of the Fetal Immune System to Secrete Primal Immunoglobulins Responding to Unexperienced Antigens. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(2):617-636. doi:10.7150/ijbs.67203. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v18p0617.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Among numerous studies on coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), we noted that the infection and mortality rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) increased with age and that fetuses known to be particularly susceptible to infection were better protected despite various mutations. Hence, we established the hypothesis that a new immune system exists that forms before birth and decreases with aging.

Methods: To prove this hypothesis, we established new ex-vivo culture conditions simulating the critical environmental factors of fetal stem cells (FSCs) in early pregnancy. Then, we analyzed the components from FSCs cultivated newly developed ex-vivo culture conditions and compared them from FSCs cultured in a normal condition.

Results: We demonstrated that immunoglobulin M (IgM), a natural antibody (NAb) produced only in early B-1 cells, immunoglobulins (Igs) including IgG3, which has a wide range of antigen-binding capacity and affinity, complement proteins, and antiviral proteins are induced in FSCs only cultured in newly developed ex-vivo culture conditions. Particularly we confirmed that their extracellular vesicles (EVs) contained NAbs, Igs, various complement proteins, and antiviral proteins, as well as human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G), responsible for immune tolerance.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that FSCs in early pregnancy can form an independent immune system responding to unlearned antigens as a self-defense mechanism before establishing mature immune systems. Moreover, we propose the possibility of new solutions to cope with various infectious diseases based on the factors in NAbs-containing EVs, especially not causing unnecessary immune reaction due to HLA-G.

Keywords: natural antibody, IgG3, fetal immune system, extracellular vesicles, SARS-CoV-2