Murine cryoglobulinemia: pathogenic and protective IgG3 self-associating antibodies

J Immunol. 1991 Nov 15;147(10):3331-5.


A murine IgG3 mAb, 6-19, derived from autoimmune MRL-lpr/lpr mice, is a rheumatoid factor (RF) specific for IgG2a and is able to generate cryoglobulins via nonspecific IgG3 Fc-Fc interaction. Intra-peritoneal passive transfer of ascites containing the 6-19 mAb into BALB/c mice induces skin leukocytoclastic vasculitis and acute glomerulonephritis associated with cryoglobulinemia. Because IgG3 interact with each other, we have determined whether noncryoprecipitating IgG3 mAb were able to inhibit the cryoprecipitation of 6-19 mAb and the development of related tissue lesions. In vitro, the cryoprecipitation of 6-19 mAb was almost completely inhibited by a fourfold excess of a noncryoprecipitating non-RF IgG3 (9-106) mAb derived from MRL-lpr/lpr mice. Cryoprecipitation of five other IgG3 mAb was similarly inhibited by the 9-106 mAb, and two other noncryoprecipitating IgG3 mAb, including the 2-6D antinuclear autoantibody, inhibited the cryoprecipitation of 6-19 mAb. In vivo, pretreatment of BALB/c mice with 9-106 or 2-6D mAb prevented the development of skin vasculitis and glomerulonephritis induced by the 6-19 mAb. The cryoglobulin formation was greatly diminished in 9-106 or 2-6D mAb-treated mice, although their serum levels of 6-19 mAb and RF activity were comparable to those of control mice. This indicated that pretreatment with non-cryoglobulin IgG3 inhibited the cryoglobulin generation and cryoglobulin-associated tissue lesions induced by an IgG3 RF cryoglobulin-generating mAb. These results suggest that the balance of formation of IgG3 autoantibodies with or without the cryoglobulin activity may be critical for the development of IgG3 cryoglobulin-mediated tissue lesions in murine lupus, particularly in MRL-lpr/lpr mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Cryoglobulinemia / immunology*
  • Cryoglobulinemia / pathology
  • Cryoglobulins / metabolism
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Protein Binding
  • Rheumatoid Factor / immunology
  • Vasculitis / immunology
  • Vasculitis / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cryoglobulins
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Rheumatoid Factor