Letter | Published:

IgM-autoantibodies against isologous erythrocytes also react with isologous IgG(Fc)

Nature volume 286, pages 720722 (14 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The mechanisms by which the adaptive immune system of animals discriminate between foreign and self components are not known. It is generally believed that antibodies are produced only in response to foreign agents. However, against this axiom there is mounting evidence that normal animals produce autoantibodies against a variety of self components1–6. In two murine model systems, a high proportion of IgM-producing cells secrete autoantibodies. In one model, the autoantibodies are specific for isologous mouse IgG(Fc)5 and in the other, the autoantibodies are specific for antigens revealed on the surface of mouse erythrocytes (RBC) by proteolytic enzymes6. The function of these two autoimmune responses is a mystery. Here we show that the two responses are related. The lysis of mouse RBC, modified with bromelain (brom), by IgM autoantibodies was completely inhibited by isologous IgG(Fc), and antibodies against mouse IgG(Fc) formed precipitin bands with solubilized membranes from mouse RBC. We conclude that mouse RBC membranes and IgG(Fc) have at least one antigenic determinant in common and that this determinant is the target for autoimmune responses in normal mice.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia

    • David A. Cunliffe
    •  & K. O. Cox

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286720a0

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