Self-perpetuating mechanisms of immunoglobulin G aggregation in rheumatoid inflammation

J Clin Invest. 1985 Dec;76(6):2084-90. doi: 10.1172/JCI112212.


When human IgG is exposed to free radical generating systems such as ultraviolet irradiation, peroxidizing lipids, or activated human neutrophils, characteristic auto-fluorescent monomeric and polymeric IgG is formed (excitation [Ex], 360 nm, emission [Em], 454 nm). 1 h ultraviolet irradiation of IgG results in the following reductions in constituent amino acids; cysteine (37.0%), tryptophan (17.0%), tyrosine (10.5%), and lysine (3.6%). The fluorescent IgG complexes, when produced in vitro, can stimulate the release of superoxide from normal human neutrophils. In the presence of excess unaltered IgG, further fluorescent damage to IgG occurs. Measurement and isolation of fluorescent monomeric and polymeric IgG by high performance liquid chromatography, from in vitro systems and from fresh rheumatoid sera and synovial fluid, indicates that identical complexes are present in vivo; all these fluorescent complexes share the property of enhancing free radical production from neutrophils. The results described in this study support the hypothesis that fluorescent monomeric and aggregated IgG may be formed in vivo by oxygen-centered free radicals derived from neutrophils, and that in rheumatoid inflammation this reaction may be self-perpetuating within the inflamed joint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G* / radiation effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Free Radicals
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Superoxides
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate