High dose intravenous immunoglobulin does not affect complement-bacteria interactions.
Pooled IgG preparations for i.v. use (IVIg) have been shown to possess anticomplementary activity in autoimmune and systemic inflammatory diseases. Both in vitro and in vivo, IVIg is a preferential acceptor of activated C4 and C3, thus diverting complement activation from the target surface. We explored the effect of IVIg on complement-bacteria interactions in an attempt both to determine the safety of IVIg preparations in relation to natural immunity to bacteria and to extend our knowledge of the physiologic mechanism of action of IVIg. Using both complement-sensitive and complement-resistant bacterial strains, we investigated the effect of IVIg on C3 binding to bacterial surfaces. In all cases, whether complement could be directly activated by bacteria through the classical or the alternative pathway, IVIg had no effect on the amount of C3 bound to bacteria. In addition, IVIg did not inhibit complement-dependent bacterial lysis. Interestingly, increasing concentrations of IVIg induced an increase in C1q binding, suggesting the presence of low affinity complement-fixing antibacterial Abs in certain preparations. Using serum samples from patients treated with IVIg, complement binding to and lysis of complement-sensitive bacterial strains were not modified as compared with normal controls and pretreatment samples, although a decrease in C3 binding to sensitized human erythrocytes was observed. Our data suggest that IVIg does not affect direct complement-bacteria interactions, although it is a potent agent to use for diversion of complement activation on sensitized target surfaces.
Wagner, E; Platt, JL; Frank, MM
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