Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 1995 Dec;96(6):2606-12.

Serum IgG autoantibodies directed against the alpha chain of Fc epsilon RI: a selective marker and pathogenetic factor for a distinct subset of chronic urticaria patients?

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Division of Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria.


While it is well established that acute allergic urticaria is caused by degranulation of skin mast cells occurring after allergen/IgE-dependent cross-linking of high affinity IgE receptors (FcepsilonRI), the pathophysiologic mechanisms operative in chronic urticaria (CU) are less well understood. Some evidence points to the existence of histamine-releasing activity in the serum of CU patients which possibly acts via triggering of FcepsilonRI. In this study, we aimed to better characterize this anti-FcepsilonRIalpha reactivity of CU patients using affinity-purified, IgE-depleted IgG fractions of such individuals (CU-IgG). Using immobilized, recombinant soluble FcepsilonRIalpha as a a reaction target for Western blot studies, we found that 12/32 (37%) CU-IgG serum samples exhibited IgG autoreactivity against FcepsilonRI- alpha. These findings were confirmed by experiments demonstrating that immunoblot-reactive, but not immunoblot-nonreactive, CU-IgG preparations precipitated the FcepsilonRIalpha from FcepsilonRI- alphagamma-transfected cells. No anti-FcepsilonRIalpha reactivity was observed in IgG fractions from atopic dermatitis (AD) patients (0/15) or healthy control individuals (CO:0/15). As opposed to the selective occurrence of IgG anti-Fc epsilon RI alpha autoantibodies in CU patients, IgG anti-IgE antibodies were detected in all groups investigated (CU: 69%; AD: 73%; CO: 26%). While both types of autoantibodies can exhibit histamine-releasing properties, not all of the autoantibodies proved to be functional in vitro. Our results indicate that the occurrence of IgG anti-FcepsilonRIalpha reactivity defines an autoimmune-mediated subentity of CU and provide a basis for the development of new diagnostic procedures and, perhaps, therapeutic strategies for this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center