Anti-human IgG causes basophil histamine release by acting on IgG-IgE complexes bound to IgE receptors

Lawrence M. Lichtenstein, Anne Kagey-Sobotka, Jane M. White, Robert G Hamilton

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We have reexamined the ability of anti-human IgG antibodies to induce histamine release from human basophils. A panel of purified murine mAbs with International Union of Immunological Societiesdocumented specificity for each of the four subclasses of human IgG was used. Of the 24 allergic subjects studied, the basophils of 75% (18/24) released >10% histamine to one or more anti-IgG1-4 mAb, whereas none of the 13 nonatopic donor's basophils released histamine after stimulation with optimal amounts of anti-IgG mAb. The basophils of 85% (11/13) of the nonatopic donors did respond to anti-IgE challenge, as did 92% (22/24) of the atopic donor cells. Histamine release was induced most frequently by anti-IgG3, and 10/18 anti-IgG responder cells released histamine with mAb specific for two or more different subclass specificities. The rank order for induction of histamine release was anti-IgG3>anti-IgG2>IgG1>anti-IgG4. As in our previous study using polyclonal anti-IgG, 100- to 300-μg/ml quantities of the anti-IgG mAb were required for maximal histamine release, about 1000-fold higher than those for comparable release with anti-human IgE. Specificity studies using both immunoassays and inhibition studies with IgE myeloma protein indicated that anti-IgG induced histamine release was not caused by cross-reactivity with IgE. Ig receptors were opened by lactic acid treatment so that the cells could be passively sensitized. Neither IgE myeloma nor IgG myeloma (up to 15 mg/ml) proteins could restore the response to anti-IgG mAb. However, sera from individuals with leukocytes that released histamine upon challenge with anti-IgG mAb could passively sensitize acid-treated leukocytes from both anti-IgG responder and nonresponder donors for an anti-IgG response. The only anti-IgG mAb that induced release from these passively sensitized cells were those to which the serum donor was responsive. Sera from non-IgG responders could not restore an anti-IgG response. These data led to the hypothesis that the IgG specific mAb were binding to IgG-IgE complexes that were attached to the basophil through IgE bound to the IgE receptor. This was shown to be correct because passive sensitization to anti-IgG could be blocked by previous exposure of the basophils to IgE. We conclude that anti-IgG-induced release occurs as a result of binding to IgG anti-IgE antibodies and cross-linking of the IgE receptors on basophils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3929-3936
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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