|MadSci Network: Immunology|
Yes females can make antibodies in their gastrointestinal tract to sperm and other alloantigens (1). There is evidence that prostitutes who ingest sperm actually stimulate mucosal immunity through induction of responses in gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT), i.e., Peyer`s patches and even perhaps through rectal-associated lymphoid tissues (RALT) for subsequent secretory IgA antibody responses in the GI tract and even in the female reproductive tract. This is considered part of the so-called common mucosal immune system (2).
The issue of antibody responses to food antigens is a bit different. First, there is evidence that we may develop a systemic unresponsiveness to frequently ingested proteins, a condition termed oral tolerance. In addition, we also probably make secretory IgA antibodies to some ingested proteins as well. In IgA deficiency, we may absorb more of these proteins due to a lack of their immune exclusion. Therefore, the answer is that we probably develop a tolerance to most food proteins (3). Those to which we do not, we most likely make mucosal IgA antibody responses, which may prevent antibody responses in the periphery (e.g. serum antibody).
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8808050&dopt=Abstract
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9577094&dopt=Abstract
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