An allotypic form of the low affinity IgG Fc receptor Fc gamma RIIa (CD32), termed low responder (LR) because of its weak reactivity with mouse (m) IgG1, interacts efficiently with human (h) IgG2. Fc gamma RIIaLR is the first known human FcR that binds this IgG subclass. In this study, we analyzed the role of Fc gamma RIIa in binding of stable hIgG-subclass dimers, and in induction of T cell mitogenesis using chimeric anti-CD3 mAb. We demonstrate that the functional polymorphism to hIgG2 is expressed on the majority of Fc gamma R-bearing peripheral blood cells: monocytes, neutrophils, and platelets. We were able to assess Fc gamma RII-mediated IgG-binding without interference of other Fc gamma R-classes, by blockade of Fc gamma RI on monocytes, and by using neutrophils of an individual deficient for the Fc gamma RIIIB gene. This study indicates as subclass specificity: hIgG3 >hIgG1,hIgG2 >> hIgG4 for Fc gamma RIIaLR and hIgG3,hIgG1 >> hIgG2 > hIgG4 for Fc gamma RIIaHR. Comparing the serum hIgG levels of individuals homozygous for the two fc gamma RIIa allotypic forms, we observed significantly lower hIgG2 serum levels in individuals expressing the hIgG2-binding LR allotypic form. This observation may implicate that Fc gamma RIIa regulates hIgG subclass production or turnover in man.