Defective reticuloendothelial system Fc-receptor function in systemic lupus erythematosus.
To determine whether reticuloendothelial-system immunospecific Fc-receptor function is abnormal in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, we studied the clearance of IgG-sensitized 51Cr-labeled erythrocytes by these splenic macrophage membrane receptors in 15 untreated patients. Fc-specific clearance rates were strikingly abnormal in 13 of 15 patients (half-times ranging from 80 to 2256 minutes, P less than 0.001 as compared to controls). Abnormal clearances correlated with immune-complex levels (as measured by the C1q-binding assay) and with disease activity. C1q-binding activity and anti-DNA titers also correlated with disease activity. The correlations of C3, C4, CH50 and factor B with abnormal clearance and disease activity were weaker or nonexistent. The significant correlations among clearance, disease activity and C1q-binding activity suggest that the defect in Fc-receptor function may lead to the prolonged circulation of immune complexes, thereby contributing to tissue deposition and damage.
Frank, MM; Hamburger, MI; Lawley, TJ; Kimberly, RP; Plotz, PH
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