Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology (Canadá)

Preconception allergen sensitization can induce B10 cells in offspring: a potential main role for maternal IgG

Publicado em 16 abril 2017

Por Marília Garcia de Oliveira, Luana de Mendonça Oliveira, Aline Aparecida de Lima Lira, Fábio da Ressureição Sgnotto, Alberto José da Silva Duarte, Maria Notomi Sato and Jefferson Russo Victor

Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology


Open Access

Preconception allergen sensitization can induce B10 cells in offspring: a potential main role for maternal IgG

Marília Garcia de Oliveira 1 ,

Luana de Mendonça Oliveira 1 ,

Aline Aparecida de Lima Lira 1 ,

Fábio da Ressureição Sgnotto 1 ,

Alberto José da Silva Duarte 1 , 2 ,

Maria Notomi Sato 1 and



The mechanisms through which allergies can be inhibited after preconception immunization with allergens are not fully understood. We aimed to evaluate whether maternal immunization can induce a regulatory B (B10) cell population in offspring in concert with allergy inhibition.


C57BL/6 females were or were not immunized with OVA and were mated with normal WT males. Their offspring were evaluated at 3 days of age or 20 days after neonatal immunization. Human peripheral B cells from atopic and non-atopic individuals were also evaluated.


Preconception OVA immunization induced B10 cells in offspring, and IL-10 production appeared to be critical for Fc?RIIB upregulation in offspring B cells. Murine and human IL-10-producing B cells responded in vitro to IgG according to the atopic repertoire of the cells.


Our results reveal that maternal immunization induces allergen-specific B10 cells in offspring and a pivotal role for the IgG repertoire in IL-10 production by murine and human B cells.


Allergy Allergen-specific IgG B10 cells IL-10 Maternal immunization


Our group has studied type I hypersensitivity inhibition in murine models for the last decade [ 1 – 7 ]. During this period, we proposed that maternal IgG can play a pivotal role in offspring immune modulation, but the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon were not fully elucidated. In the 90s, it was revealed that maternal antibodies are passively transferred to offspring during the gestational and weaning periods. These antibodies, particularly IgG, can interact directly with the offspring’s immune system, even in the absence of antigens [ 8 ], and might involve maternal antibody-allergen immune complexes that directly interact with the inhibitory receptor Fc?RIIb (CD32b) expressed by offspring B cells [ 9 ]. These interactions can in turn regulate the production of IgE antibodies, thus inhibiting the development of allergies. The alterations in the offspring immune system that occur as a consequence of maternal IgG interactions are not fully understood. Because the main event of allergy inhibition is the control of IgE production by B cells, we believe that this population plays a pivotal role as the subject of the effects induced by maternal immunization.

Some populations of B cells can acquire regulatory properties (Breg), and among these cell populations, regulatory B (B10) cells, which have been identified in humans and mice, have high regulatory potential [ 10 ]. This population is characterized by a CD19+IL10+CD1dhigh phenotype and high IL-10 secretion. The regulatory potential of B10 cells can inhibit OVA-induced allergic pulmonary inflammation [ 11 ]. The mechanism through which allergen-specific B10 cells can be induced and a possible role of IgG in this mechanism have not been described.

The aim of this study was to determine whether maternal immunization can induce regulatory B10 cells in offspring as a mechanism of allergy inhibition. Furthermore, we evaluated the importance of maternal IgG for the induction of B10 cells and whether evidence of similar mechanisms can be detected in humans.



C57BL/6 inbred wild-type (WT) or IL-10-genetically-deficient male and female mice were used at 8–10 weeks of age. The animals were purchased through the Central Animal Facility of the School of Medicine and Institute of Biomedical Sciences—USP. The offspring (F1) of both sexes were evaluated during the neonatal period, and samples from at least three independent experiments were studied.

Patient samples

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and sera were collected from volunteers who were previously classified as atopic or non-atopic individuals according to their clinical status and who voluntarily submitted to a skin prick test (SPT) to confirm their atopic state. These individuals were classified into two groups: atopic individuals [clinically allergic and reactive to at least two allergens, n = 14, age (mean ± SE) = 31.1 ± 2.86] and non-atopic individuals [without any clinical allergy symptoms and unreactive to any tested allergen, n = 14, age (mean ± SE) = 28.2 ± 3.11].

Each PBMC sample was provided by a different donor and analyzed in three independent experiments.

SPT and collection of blood samples

The subjects voluntarily submitted to a SPT according to European standards [ 12 ] with an adapted panel of allergens that included the Brazil pattern (Blomia tropicalis, Canis familiaris, Periplaneta americana, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium notatum, Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium herbarum, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and Felis domesticus).

In brief, a drop of each allergen extract, histamine (positive control) or allergen diluent (negative control—IPI-Asac, Brazil) was applied to the volar aspect of the forearm. A superficial skin puncture was made through each allergen or control drop with a hypodermic lancet (Alko, Brazil) without inducing bleeding. Fifteen minutes after puncture, the transverse diameter of each wheal reaction was measured. We considered a reaction to be positive when the wheal was 3 mm greater than the wheal diameter of the negative control. As exclusion criteria, we adopted the use of antihistamines, glucocorticosteroids and some other systemic drugs that can influence the results 15 days before the test. We also excluded volunteers with severe eczema or dermographism.

Purification of mouse and human IgG

IgG antibodies were purified from the sera of mice that were immunized with OVA (40 days after immunization) or of non-immunized mice using a Melon Gel IgG Spin Purification kit, according to the manufacturer’s instructions (Thermo, USA). In brief, 500 µL of purification gel was placed in a mini column attached to a microtube, and the mixture was centrifuged for 1 min at 2000g. After the supernatant was discarded, 300 µL of washing buffer from the kit was added, and the resulting mixture was centrifuged again. The sample of pooled sera was added to the gel, homogenized for 5 min, and centrifuged, and the supernatant (purified IgG) was collected and stored at -70 °C for subsequent use in culture experiments.

To purify human IgG, two blood samples were obtained by venipuncture from each atopic or non-atopic individual in tubes without anticoagulants. After the blood samples were centrifuged at 1400g for 10 min, the serum was fractionated and pooled. Human IgG was purified using the Melon Gel IgG Spin Purification kit as described above, and the purified IgG was stored at -70 °C for subsequent use in culture experiments.

Both purified IgGs were sterilized using 0.20-micron filters (Corning, Germany), and their IgG concentrations were determined with the Coomassie Protein Assay Reagent (Pierce, USA) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Murine immunization

Female WT mice were immunized subcutaneously with 6 mg of Alum (FURP, Sao Paulo) only or supplemented with 1500 µg of OVA (EndoFit™—endotoxin levels Sao Paulo School of Medicine (CEP-FMUSP: 122/14—Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil). The Human Ethics Committee at the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo approved this study. Informed consent was obtained from all of the volunteers (CAAE: 15507613.4.0000.0060). All authors consented to the publication.


This study was funded through a grant from the Laboratory of Medical Investigation-56, Medical School, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (LIM-56 HC-FMUSP), Grants #2015/17256-3, #2013/22820-0 and #2010/09004-0 from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), and Grant #115603/2015-8 from The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

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Additional files

13223_2017_195_MOESM1_ESM.pdf Additional file 1: Figure S1. Illustrative dot plots of gating strategy to identify B cells that produces IL-10 and that express B10 phenotype on offspring spleen. Each sample was acquired in the singlet cells gate (determined by FSC-A/FSC-H parameters), panels represent gate strategy then in the lymphocytes gate (determined by their relative size/granularity), and then gated as CD19+ cells (B cells), IL-10 (IL-10+B cells) and CD1dhigh cells (B10 cells).

Authors’ Affiliations

Division of Pathology, Medical School, University of Sao Paulo


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