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Trends Immunol. 2008 Dec;29(12):608-15. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Modulation of the cellular immune system by intravenous immunoglobulin.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is therapeutically used in a variety of immune-mediated diseases. The beneficial effects of IVIg in auto-antibody-mediated diseases can be explained by neutralization, accelerated clearance and prevention of Fcgamma-receptor binding of auto-antibodies. However, the means by which IVIg exerts therapeutic effects in disorders mediated by cellular immunity have remained enigmatic. Clinical improvements, followed by IVIg treatment, often extend beyond the half-life of infused IgG, thereby indicating that IVIg modifies the cellular immune compartment for a prolonged period. Here, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of different, mutually non-exclusive mechanisms of action of IVIg on cells of the innate and adaptive immune system. These mechanisms might explain the beneficial effects of IVIg in certain autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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