IVIG--mechanisms of action

Allergy. 2003 Jul;58(7):543-52. doi: 10.1034/j.1398-9995.2003.00239.x.


Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) preparations are fractionated from a plasma pool of several thousand donors. IVIG contain immune antibodies and physiologic autoantibodies. Immune antibodies reflect the immunologic experience of the donor population. This fraction of IVIG preparations is useful for replacement therapy and passive immunisation. Natural autoantibodies are able to react with the immune system of the recipient of IVIG and are suggested to help to correct immune deregulation. Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties are based on multiple mechanisms of action which are described. These mechanisms are effective concomitantly and synergistically at every occasion of use of IVIG in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agammaglobulinemia / drug therapy
  • Agammaglobulinemia / immunology
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / drug effects
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / drug therapy
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous* / immunology
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous* / pharmacology


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous