Subcutaneous bioavailability of therapeutic antibodies as a function of FcRn binding affinity in mice

MAbs. Jan-Feb 2012;4(1):101-9. doi: 10.4161/mabs.4.1.18543.


The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) plays an important and well-known role in immunoglobulin G (IgG) catabolism; however, its role in the disposition of IgG after subcutaneous (SC) administration, including bioavailability, is relatively unknown. To examine the potential effect of FcRn on IgG SC bioavailability, we engineered three anti-amyloid β monoclonal antibody (mAb) reverse chimeric mouse IgG2a (mIgG2a) Fc variants (I253A.H435A, N434H and N434Y) with different binding affinities to mouse FcRn (mFcRn) and compared their SC bioavailability to that of the wild-type (WT) mAb in mice. Our results indicated that the SC bioavailability of mIgG2a was affected by mFcRn-binding affinity. Variant I253A.H435A, which did not bind to mFcRn at either pH 6.0 or pH 7.4, had the lowest bioavailability (41.8%). Variant N434Y, which had the greatest increase in binding affinity at both pH 6.0 and pH 7.4, had comparable bioavailability to the WT antibody (86.1% vs. 76.3%), whereas Variant N434H, which had modestly increased binding affinity at pH 6.0 to mFcRn and affinity comparable to the WT antibody at pH 7.4, had the highest bioavailability (94.7%). A semi-mechanism-based pharmacokinetic model, which described well the observed data with the WT antibody and variant I253A.H435A, is consistent with the hypothesis that the decreased bioavailability of variant I253A.H435A was due to loss of the FcRn-mediated protection from catabolism at the absorption site. Together, these data demonstrate that FcRn plays an important role in SC bioavailability of therapeutic IgG antibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / genetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibody Affinity / immunology*
  • Biological Availability
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Fc / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Fc receptor, neonatal