"Auto-anti-IgE": Naturally occurring IgG anti-IgE antibodies may inhibit allergen-induced basophil activation

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Naturally occurring IgE-specific IgG autoantibodies have been identified in patients with asthma and other diseases, but their spectrum of functions is poorly understood.

Address the hypothesis that: (i) IgG anti-IgE autoantibodies are detectable in the serum of all subjects but elevated in asthmatic patients regardless of atopic status as compared with controls; (ii) some activate IgE-sensitized basophils; and (iii) some inhibit allergen-induced basophil activation.

IgE-specific IgG autoantibodies were detected and quantified in sera using ELISA. Sera were examined for their ability to activate IgE-sensitized human blood basophils in the presence and absence of allergen using a basophil activation test, and to inhibit allergen binding to specific IgE on a rat basophilic cell line stably expressing human FcεRI.

IgG autoantibodies binding to both free and FcεRI-bound IgE were detected in patients with atopic and non-atopic asthma, as well as controls. While some were able to activate IgE-sensitised basophils, others inhibited allergen-induced basophil activation, at least partly by inhibiting binding of IgE to specific allergen.

Naturally occurring IgG anti-IgE autoantibodies may inhibit, as well as induce, basophil activation. They act in a manner distinct from therapeutic IgG anti-IgE antibodies such as omalizumab. They may at least partly explain why atopic subjects who make allergen-specific IgE never develop clinical symptoms, and why omalizumab therapy is of variable clinical benefit in severe atopic asthma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1401.e4
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number6
Early online date8 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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