Why do only IgG antibodies cross the placenta into a developing baby?

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Offline thedoc

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shannon m howell asked the Naked Scientists:
   If IgG antibodies and albumin can cross the cell membrane by pinocytosis, why is this not the case of all antibody therapeutics?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 31/08/2016 20:04:26 by chris »

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Offline chris

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This is because the trophoblast cells, that make up the placenta, switch on - from about 29 weeks - specific receptors called Fc-gamma. These recognise IgG antibody and move it across the trophoblast layer and into the foetal circulation. But receptors for other classes of immunoglobulin - such as IgM - are not expressed by the trophoblast cells and so there is no mechanism for them to move across and into the baby.
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