In vitro basophil histamine-releasing activity of circulating IgG1 and IgG4 autoanti-IgE antibodies from asthma patients and the demonstration that anti-IgE modulates allergen-induced basophil activation

Clin Exp Allergy. 1994 Mar;24(3):270-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.1994.tb00230.x.


In this study we have examined the relationship between the in vitro basophil histamine-releasing activity of human IgG anti-IgE, isolated as euglobulin fractions from sera of asthmatic patients, and its IgG1/IgG4 subclass distribution. In particular, we have investigated whether IgG anti-IgE modulates allergen-induced basophil activation. The study has revealed that only a small proportion of IgG anti-IgE samples triggered histamine release from basophils of an asthmatic individual (4/21; 19%), a hay fever sufferer (4/10; 40%) and a healthy person (7/21; 33%). The basophil histamine-releasing activity of IgG anti-IgE did not seem to be determined by the IgG1/IgG4 subclass composition of the IgG anti-IgE preparation used. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that autoanti-IgE antibodies modulate allergen-induced basophil histamine release. The three modulatory effects exerted by IgG anti-IgE antibodies on allergen-triggered basophil activation (i.e. additive, synergistic and blocking) were not dependent on the subclass nature of IgG anti-IgE or the use of histamine-releasing anti-IgE preparations. Our data suggest that IgG anti-IgE antibodies in asthma patients may consist of two functionally distinct subpopulations: those which up-regulate (pro-allergic) and those which down-regulate (anti-allergic) the allergic release of mediators from mast cells and basophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Basophils / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Histamine Release / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mites / immunology
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Serum Globulins / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Autoantibodies
  • Glycoproteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Serum Globulins
  • Immunoglobulin E