Role of physiologic autoantibody in the removal of senescent human red cells

Journal of Supramolecular Structure
M M Kay

Abstract

The mechanism by which mononuclear phagocytes distinguish mature "self" from senescent "self" was investigated. Evidence is presented indicating that human mononuclear phagocytes distinguish senescent RBC from mature RBC on the basis of selective Ig attachment to the membranes of senescent cells. This Ig, eluted from senescent human RBC, was shown to be IgG and free of other Igs by immunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The IgG was polyclonal with respect to light chains. The eluted IgG reattaches to homologous stored RBC, but not to mature autologous or allogeneic RBC, via the Fab region. It then initiates phagocytosis of these stored RBC by mononuclear phagocytes. Evidence suggests that the IgG is directed against altered membrane receptors. Thus, this IgG may be a "physiologic" autoantibody and contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis by performing regulatory function.

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