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J Invest Dermatol. 1988 Feb;90(2):213-7.

Prevalence and functional role of anti-IgE autoantibodies in urticarial syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook 11794-8161.


The prevalence of autoantibodies of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) classes directed against myeloma immunoglobulin E (IgE) were determined in distinct subsets of urticaria, using an enzyme immunoassay. IgG anti-IgE antibodies were found in five of nine patients (55%) with cold urticaria, four of eight patients (50%) with urticarial vasculitis, and three of six patients (50%) with chronic urticaria. IgM anti-IgE antibodies were found exclusively in cold urticaria (two of nine patients, 22%). Heating of these sera increased the binding to IgE, suggesting immune complex formation. Several positive sera were capable of inducing histamine release from normal peripheral basophils and caused a wheal-flare response upon intradermal injection. Sera containing such autoantibodies from three cold urticaria patients were studied for passive transfer of cold sensitivity. One serum containing IgG anti-IgE gave a strongly positive transfer test at 5 h but not 48 h, suggesting a pathogenic role for the IgG.

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