We demonstrate, using a recombinant truncated Fc gamma RII molecule as a probe, the presence of anti-Fc gamma R antibodies in several strains of autoimmune mice. Affinity chromatography on a truncated Fc gamma R column of pooled sera from aged NZB females resulted in isolation of 16 micrograms of IgM per ml of serum, approximately 2% of the total IgM; no anti-Fc gamma R IgM was found in sera from C58/J mice. Mice with high titers of anti-Fc gamma R IgM also had anti-Fc gamma R IgG. Affinity-purified anti-Fc gamma R IgG bound to Fc gamma R-bearing cells. A good correlation was found between the presence of anti-Fc gamma R Ig and impaired phagocytosis of immune complexes in autoimmune strains such as NZB or NZB/NZW F1. Sera with high titers of anti-Fc gamma R Ig from NZB and motheaten mice inhibited the binding of soluble immune complexes. Furthermore, BXSB, a lupus-prone mouse strain that does not produce anti-Fc gamma R Ig, shows normal macrophage binding and phagocytosis of immune complexes. A set of four IgM mAbs that bind to Fc gamma R was identified. These antibodies were polyspecific; some were directed against DNA, and others recognized a wide variety of antigens including histones, thyroglobulin, and transferrin, but all anti-Fc gamma R IgM antibodies effectively inhibited the binding of IgG1 anti-DNP/DNP20BSA complexes to J774 macrophages. The role of anti-Fc gamma R Ig in autoimmunity remains to be established. It may act to crosslink and activate Fc gamma Rs on neutrophils, macrophages, NK, and mesangial cells, or it may desensitize Fc gamma R function of Fc gamma R-bearing cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.