Complement and Fc receptor (FcR)-positive cells mediate effector functions of antibodies. Antibody-dependent immunity against the melanosome membrane glycoprotein gp75/tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TYRP-1) of melanocytes leads to autoimmune hypopigmentation (vitiligo) in mice. Hypopigmentation occurred in mice deficient in activating FcR containing the common gamma subunit (Fc gamma R gamma(-/-)) and in mice deficient in the C3 complement component. Mice doubly deficient in both Fc gamma R gamma and C3 did not develop hypopigmentation, suggesting that complement and Fc gamma R formed redundant mechanisms. Following passive immunization with antibody, no further adaptive immune responses were required. Chimeric Fc gamma R gamma(-/-),C3(-/-) mice reconstituted with bone marrow from either Fc gamma R gamma(-/-) or C3(-/-) mice or adoptively transferred with Fc gamma R gamma(+/-) macrophages did develop antibody-mediated hypopigmentation. Thus, either complement or macrophages expressing activating Fc gamma R can independently and alternatively mediate disease in a model of autoimmune vitiligo.