Red Cells Coated with Immunoglobulin G: Binding and Sphering by Mononuclear Cells in Man

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Science  22 Dec 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3808, pp. 1582-1585
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3808.1582


Human monocytes, macrophages, and certain lymphocytes bind firmly to red cells coated with immunoglobulin G, whether or not it is acting as antibody. Monocyte binding is specific for cells coated with immunoglobulin G and is inhibited specifically by this immunoglobulin or its Fc-fragment in solution. Although not involving serum complement and not usually a prelude to erythrophagocytosis, this binding causes rapid morphological injury to red cells, as manifested by their sphering, increased osmotic fragility, deformation, and fragmentation. It is inferred that mononuclear cells have specific surface receptors for immunoglobulin G and that these provide a critical phase of the mechanism in vivo, whereby red cells or other particles coated with antibody are apprehended and destroyed.