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Clin Exp Immunol. 1988 Sep;73(3):343-7.

IgG subclass response to HIV in relation to antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity at different clinical stages.

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Department of Immunology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The anti-HIV IgG subclass response was analysed in sera from different clinical stages and related to virus specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). IgG1 was found to be the dominant subclass, present in all sera and with similar mean titres at different stages. The number of anti-HIV IgG3 positive sera, measured on whole viral lysate antigen plates, decreased during disease progression from 38% in symptom-free to 7% in AIDS patients. IgG2 and IgG4 subclasses were less prevalent although a slight increase of IgG4 frequency was found in AIDS patients. High IgG1 titres correlated with a positive ADCC reaction but there was no correlation between anti-HIV IgG1 and ADCC titres. Some sera which contained HIV IgG1 as the only subclass were able to mediate an ADCC reaction. In addition, when anti-HIV IgG3 was isolated, by protein A chromatography, no ADCC killing was induced by these antibodies. It is concluded that IgG1 is the major ADCC-active IgG subclass in HIV infected individuals. The lack of correlation between IgG1 and ADCC titres may be explained by a relatively small fraction of IgG1 antibodies mediating ADCC.

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