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REVIEW: Hypotheses of the Origin of Natural Antibodies: A Glycobiologist’s Opinion

N. R. Khasbiullina and N. V. Bovin*

Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117997 Moscow, Russia; fax: +7 (495) 330-5592; E-mail: professorbovin@yandex.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received March 27, 2015; Revision received April 6, 2015
It is generally accepted that the generation of antibodies proceeds due to immunization of an organism by alien antigens, and the level and affinity of antibodies are directly correlated to the presence of immunogen. At the same time, vast experimental material has been obtained providing evidence of antibodies whose level remains unchanged and affinity is constant during a lifetime. In contrast to the first, adaptive immunoglobulins, the latter are named natural antibodies (nAbs). The nAbs are produced by B1 cells, whereas adaptive Abs are produced by B2. This review summarizes general data on nAbs and presents in more detail data on antigens of carbohydrate origin. Hypotheses on the origin of nAbs and their activation mechanisms are discussed. We present our thoughts on this matter supported by our experimental data on nAbs to glycans.
KEY WORDS: natural antibodies, B1 cells, bacterial antigens, autoantibodies, polysaccharides, molecular patterns, DAMP

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297915070032