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J Autoimmun. 1995 Apr;8(2):249-65.

Anti-Fc gamma receptor III autoantibody is associated with soluble receptor in rheumatoid arthritis serum and synovial fluid.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Brest University Medical School Hospital, France.


We sought to detect anti-Fc gamma receptor (Fc gamma R) autoantibodies and soluble Fc gamma R in the serum and synovial fluid (SF) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to correlate these serological abnormalities to the polymorphonuclear cell (PMN) activation state. Paired samples of blood and SF were obtained from 33 RA patients as well as blood from 25 normal adults from SF from 20 non-RA patients. Anti-Fc gamma R autoantibodies were assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant human Fc gamma R as the substrate. Soluble Fc gamma RIII was determined by an ELISA based on the combination of two monoclonal antibodies (MAb). The mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of complement receptor 1 (CD35) and 3 (CD11b) and Fc gamma RIII (CD16) was evaluated by flow cytometry on the membrane of PMN. IgM anti-Fc gamma RIII activity was present in seven RA sera and five SF, and IgG in eight RA sera and six SF. The average concentration of soluble Fc gamma RIII was 1.80 +/- 3.50 micrograms/ml in RA patients and 0.33 +/- 0.06 micrograms/ml in normal adults (P < 0.05). This was elevated in the SF of 15 RA, while normal in that of all the non-RA patients. There was an inverse correlation between the CD16 MFI on the PMN and the serum/SF soluble Fc gamma RIII level, whereas the density of CD35 and CD11b was markedly augmented. Anti-Fc gamma RIII activity exists in RA patients, associated with soluble Fc gamma RIII. PMN activation could be due to these autoantibodies and thereby obviate the clearance of immune complexes.

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