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Blood. 1993 Sep 1;82(5):1639-46.

Neutrophils do not bind to or phagocytize human immune complexes formed with influenza virus.

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Department of Anatomy, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn 11203.


Neutrophils appear to form the first line of defense against influenza virus, yet it is unclear how these leukocytes recognize influenza-infected cells. While demonstrating that neutrophils adhere specifically to the sialic acid-binding site on the hemagglutinin molecule (HA) on the surface of influenza-infected (WSN[H1N1]) epithelial cells and not to other viral or epithelial cell antigens, it was observed that human neutrophils do not recognize immune complexes formed with influenza virus. Intact antibodies (mouse monoclonal antibodies [MoAbs] IgG1 and IgG2b, human immune heat-inactivated serum [predominantly IgG1], and IgG purified from human immune serum) that block the sialic acid-binding site on HA significantly reduced (> 80%) neutrophil adherence to influenza-infected epithelial cells. Binding and phagocytosis of free influenza virions and neutrophil agglutination by influenza virus were completely prevented by these antibodies. Intact and F(ab')2 fragments of mouse MoAbs to other viral epitopes caused increased neutrophil adherence to infected cells. This binding was eliminated by F(ab'2) fragments of MoAbs against the sialic acid-binding site on HA, but not by saturating amounts of MoAbs, which block the neutrophil Fc receptors. Thus, it appears that human neutrophils show little ability to bind via their Fc receptors to the immune complexes formed with antibody and either influenza-infected epithelial cells or the free virion. These findings are in contrast to the general dogma, and are the first example of antibody opsonization reducing, rather than enhancing, neutrophil binding and phagocytosis of a pathogen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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