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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name



Immunology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Kang Chen


Immunoglobulin D is a mysterious protein that has largely been overlooked since its discovery. It is uniquely distinct from all the other antibody classes in: expression, induction, structure and function. Within the last few years IgD has made its way back into the spotlight and novel functions of the protein have been discovered. These recent discoveries have provided the necessary information for us to uncover an additional and important function of IgD during pregnancy. It is a long-held belief among scientists that during pregnancy the only antibody class that can cross the placenta is IgG, however our data shows that this common place ideology is not correct. We find that IgD is fully capable of crossing the placenta and that vaccine-specific IgD induced by maternal vaccination undergoes placental transfer to the fetus.

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