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Loss of Fc receptors for IgG from human T lymphocytes exposed to IgG immune complexes

Naturevolume 272pages618620 (1978) | Download Citation



SURFACE receptors for immunoglobulins (Ig) have been detected on mononuclear lymphoid cells of several animal species. They are present on monocytes, macrophages, T and B lymphocytes and on a third as yet poorly defined population of non-T non-B cells (‘null’ cells)1. Early studies demonstrated mainly receptors for IgG, but binding of IgM and IgE to lymphoid populations has also been observed2–6. In humans the presence of surface receptors for either IgM or IgG molecules distinguishes two distinct T cell populations (T·M and T·G respectively) which have clearly defined functional characteristics. T·M cells help B cell differentiation induced by pokeweed mitogen7,8, whereas T·G cells suppress differentiation. T·G lymphocytes only suppress following interaction with IgG immune complexes, perhaps indicating an important role for IgG-Fc receptors in the regulation of humoral responses8. Another recognised role for IgG-Fc receptors is to mediate the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC)9,10. This latter activity is associated with both T and ‘null’ lymphocytes11,12. We report here that interaction between IgG immune complexes and IgG-Fc receptors present on human T·G cells is followed by the irreversible disappearence of the Fc receptors. As a consequence of this ‘modulation’ T·G lymphocytes lose most of their cytotoxic activity in an antibody-mediated cell killing system.

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  1. Instituto di Microbiologia, University of Genova, 16132, Genova, Italy



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