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Clin Nephrol. 1991 Sep;36(3):114-26.

Immune material processing by phagocyte cell system in cryoglobulinemia.

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Istituto di Nefro-Urologia, Università di Torino, Italy.


An impaired function of splenic macrophages, measured as the clearance rate of erythrocytes coated with IgG (E-IgG), was observed in 7 out of 8 cryoglobulinemic patients with severe urinary abnormalities and systemic symptoms, and in 0 out of 6 patients without urinary symptoms and only mild systemic signs of disease. The E-IgG clearance rate was not related to HLA or Rh phenotype, patients' age or disease duration. Moreover, longitudinal studies showed this parameter to be strictly related to disease activity. To investigate the nature of the defect, five series of analyses were planned using peripheral blood phagocytes (PBP) from 8 patients: a) detection of cell-bound immune material by using the antibody CE59 directed to the Fc fragment of IgG modified by the antibody-antigen reaction; b) cytofluorometric and/or radiometric analyses of the cell surface expression of HLA II, CR1 and FcR structures by means of specific monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs); c) electron microscopy (EM) examination of diverse combinations of cryoglobulins incubated with PBP from patients and normals; d) analysis of cryoglobulin-induced inhibition of E-IgG phagocytosis; e) measurement of the generation of chemiluminescence (CL) in response to Zymosan, Phorbol Myristate Acetate and n-Formyl-Methyonine-Leucine-Phenilalanine (n-FMLP). Patients' PBP were found to have a higher amount of cell-bound immune material as compared to normals (p less than 0.01). CR1 and FcR expression was not different from controls, whereas a slight increase in percentage of monocytes bearing HLA II structures was found in patients (p less than 0.05). Upon EM examination no obvious differences were found in the internalization capacity of cryoglobulins between patients and controls. The CL production was lower than normal (p less than 0.02), whatever stimulus used, with a maximal impairment for n-FLMP (p less than 0.005), the most specific test probe for cytoskeleton integrity. Finally, a remarkable cryoglobulin-induced inhibition of E-IgG phagocytosis was shown. A combination of saturation mechanisms and intracellular abnormalities could underlie the apparent discrepancy between E-IgG clearance defect and preserved potential of cryoglobulin internalization in cryoglobulinemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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