Poultry science

Higher incorporation of heterologous chicken immunoglobulin Y compared with homologous quail immunoglobulin Y into egg yolks of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).

PMID 19590086


In avian species, blood IgY is selectively incorporated into the yolks of maturing oocytes, although the precise mechanism is poorly understood. Our previous study showed that 22% of i.v.-injected heterologous chicken IgY (cIgY) was incorporated into egg yolks of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). However, it is not known whether homologous quail IgY (qIgY) can be more efficiently incorporated into quail egg yolks than cIgY. Therefore, we compared the uptakes of qIgY and cIgY i.v. administered into quail egg yolks and further characterized the uptakes of these 2 antibodies into quail ovarian follicles. Quail IgY and cIgY purified from the blood of the respective bird were labeled with digoxigenin, and their uptakes into quail egg yolks were determined by ELISA. Unexpectedly, total incorporation of the injected qIgY was only one-third of that of cIgY, although much more qIgY was left in blood compared with cIgY, suggesting that qIgY is the less preferable antibody as a transport ligand into quail egg yolks. On the other hand, deposition of the qIgY into heart, lung, liver, spleen, kidney, and ovarian follicular membrane was markedly higher than that of cIgY. Amino acid sequence analysis of 3 peptides derived from the trypsin-digested qIgY heavy chain revealed low homology between qIgY and cIgY. In conclusion, our results show that heterologous cIgY is more efficiently incorporated into quail egg yolks than homologous qIgY, possibly due to a distinctive antibody transport system existing in oocytes. The present results also may provide a new strategy for delivering useful proteinaceous substances into egg yolks in an attempt to produce designer eggs.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

68841 Dextran sulfate sodium salt from Leuconostoc spp., Mr ~20,000