Influence of antigen on immune complex behavior in mice

D. S. Finbloom, D. B. Magilavy, J. B. Harford, A. Rifai, P. H. Plotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To explore the possibility that the behavior of immune complexes can, under some circumstances, be directed by the antigen, we have studied the behavior of complexes of identical size made with the glycoproteins, orosomucoid (OR), and ceruloplasmin; or with their desialylated derivatives, asialo-orosomucoid (ASOR) and asialo-ceruloplasmin. Such desialylated proteins are rapidly removed from the circulation by a hepatic cell receptor for galactose, the sugar exposed upon removal of sialic acid. Mixtures of 125I-goat anti-ASOR with either ASOR or OR and mixtures of 125I-rabbit anti-OR with either ASOR or OR form complexes identically. The complexes were separated by density gradient centrifugation and injected intravenously into C3H mice. Blood clearances and hepatic uptake of the OR complexes and ASOR complexes were markedly different. T( 1/2 ) for the goat OR complexes exceeded 300 min, whereas that for the ASOR complexes was 15 min. More detailed studies using rabbit complexes of various sizes revealed that light rabbit complexes behaved similarly to the goat complexes. The light rabbit OR complexes were cleared slowly, with only 18% found in the liver at 60 min, whereas the light rabbit ASOR complexes were cleared much more rapidly, with 62% found within the liver by 30 min. This rapid clearance was completely suppressed by a prior injection of a blocking dose of ASOR, which implies uptake by a galactose-mediated mechanism on hepatocytes. As the size of the rabbit complexes increased, so did the rate of Fc receptor-mediated clearance. Heavy rabbit OR complexes were cleared more rapidly than light OR complexes but not so rapidly as heavy ASOR complexes. The clearance and hepatic uptake of the heavy OR complexes were markedly suppressed by a prior injection of heat-aggregated gamma globulin, a known Fc receptor-blocking agent (45% hepatic uptake without and 6% with aggregated gamma globulin). The heavy rabbit ASOR complexes exhibited inhibition of blood clearance and hepatic uptake by both galactose receptor-blocking and Fc receptor-blocking agents. A blocking dose of ASOR reduced the hepatic uptake at 30 min from 75 to 49%, and heat-aggregated gamma globulin reduced it from 75 to 39%, which suggests that these heavy complexes were removed from the circulation by receptors both for the immunoglobulin and for the antigen. Cell separation studies and autoradiographs confirmed that those complexes cleared primarily by galactose-mediated mechanism were within hepatocytes, and those cleared by Fc receptors were within the nonparenchymal cells of the liver. It seems probable, therefore, that some antigen-antibody complexes may be removed from the circulation via receptors not only for immunoglobulin but also for antigen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of antigen on immune complex behavior in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this