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Semin Hematol. 1989 Apr;26(2 Suppl 1):31-41.

Modulation of immunity in patients with autoimmune disease and cancer treated by extracorporeal immunoadsorption with PROSORBA columns.

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  • 1IMRE Corp., Seattle, WA 98109.


Extensive animal studies and clinical observations support an immunosuppressive role for certain antibodies and circulating immune complexes (CIC) in malignant and autoimmune diseases. Investigators have attempted to correct or modulate dysfunction by removal of antibodies or CIC from plasma. Extra-corporeal immunoadsorption of plasma over columns containing a silica matrix and covalently attached highly purified staphylococcal protein A (PROSORBA column) is a procedure that specifically removes those plasma components by the interaction of protein A with the Fc region of IgG. The interaction of CIC with the Fc receptor on protein A has three specific results. First, there is direct removal of immunosuppressive CIC from the circulation. Studies of CIC-mediated immunosuppression in experimental systems have shown dose-response relationships over wide ranges of CIC concentrations. Thus, removal of CIC relative to the IgG antibody may be expected to exert some stimulation of the immune system. Second, the complement system is activated. Elevated levels of C3a, C4a, and C5a are observed in patients' circulating plasma after PROSORBA treatment. These levels peak one to three hours post-perfusion and are near normal levels by six hours post-perfusion. These complement components are stimulators of growth and activity of immune cells. In addition, by binding to CIC they stimulate clearance of CIC by the reticuloendothelial system. Thus, treatments may induce removal of more CIC than could be anticipated by the binding capacity of treatment columns. Third, antibody is released from CIC. Interaction of CIC with bound protein A with or without the aid of activated complement components leads to liberation of free antibody. Depending upon other factors, eg, amount of circulating antigen and/or unbound IgG, either free antibody or CIC containing more antibody relative to antigen (or both) may be infused into patients with the posttreatment plasma. Such CIC function as immune stimulators rather than suppressors of immune cell activity. The consequences of the treatments are summarized as follows. Stimulation of immune cellular activity is seen one to three hours posttreatment. During the first one to three treatments, cells of the granulocyte/macrophage series show the greatest increase. During and after treatments 2 to 4, lymphocytes show the greatest increase. At this point, increased blastogenic response to mitogens is observed along with an increase in the T helper/suppressor cell ratio.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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