Letter | Published:

Anti-C3 antibodies in neonatal saliva

Nature volume 257, pages 146147 (11 September 1975) | Download Citation



ANTIBODIES which react with bound complement components, in particular the third component C3, have been found in the parotid saliva of most normal subjects1. These antibodies have several unusual properties2. Their binding to complement is dependent on calcium ions, they can be inhibited by small amounts of native C3 and although they belong to the IgA class they are macromolecules with a sedimentation coefficient greater than 19S. The titres in mixed saliva are substantially lower than in parotid saliva1 and the reduction in titre results from the presence of C3 in mixed saliva that combines with the antibody and neutralises its activity. While investigating the possibility that crevicular fluid was the source of C3 in the mouth, we examined samples of saliva from newborn babies. High antibody titres were found in these samples. We report here on the prevalence and properties of this antibody in neonatal saliva.

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  1. Departments of Paediatrics, Medicine and Oral Immunology, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK

    • J. F. PRICE
    • , B. D. WILLIAMS
    •  & S. J. CHALLACOMBE
  2. Present address, Hospital For Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London WC1, UK.

    • J. F. PRICE


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