Markedly different pathogenicity of four immunoglobulin G isotype-switch variants of an antierythrocyte autoantibody is based on their capacity to interact in vivo with the low-affinity Fcgamma receptor III

J Exp Med. 2000 Apr 17;191(8):1293-302. doi: 10.1084/jem.191.8.1293.


Using three different Fcgamma receptor (FcgammaR)-deficient mouse strains, we examined the induction of autoimmune hemolytic anemia by each of the four immunoglobulin (Ig)G isotype-switch variants of a 4C8 IgM antierythrocyte autoantibody and its relation to the contributions of the two FcgammaR, FcgammaRI, and FcgammaRIII, operative in the phagocytosis of opsonized particles. We found that the four IgG isotypes of this antibody displayed striking differences in pathogenicity, which were related to their respective capacity to interact in vivo with the two phagocytic FcgammaRs, defined as follows: IgG2a > IgG2b > IgG3/IgG1 for FcgammaRI, and IgG2a > IgG1 > IgG2b > IgG3 for FcgammaRIII. Accordingly, the IgG2a autoantibody exhibited the highest pathogenicity, approximately 20-100-fold more potent than its IgG1 and IgG2b variants, respectively, while the IgG3 variant, which displays little interaction with these FcgammaRs, was not pathogenic at all. An unexpected critical role of the low-affinity FcgammaRIII was revealed by the use of two different IgG2a anti-red blood cell autoantibodies, which displayed a striking preferential utilization of FcgammaRIII, compared with the high-affinity FcgammaRI. This demonstration of the respective roles in vivo of four different IgG isotypes, and of two phagocytic FcgammaRs, in autoimmune hemolytic anemia highlights the major importance of the regulation of IgG isotype responses in autoantibody-mediated pathology and humoral immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / etiology
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / genetics
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Immunoglobulin G / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin Switch Region / genetics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism*


  • Autoantibodies
  • DNA Primers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Iron