IgG antibodies in food allergy influence allergen-antibody complex formation and binding to B cells: a role for complement receptors

L.A. Meulenbroek, R.J. Jong, C.F. den Hartog Jager, H.N. Monsuur, D. Wouters, A. Nauta, L.M. Knippels, R.J.J. van Neerven, B. Ruiter, J.H. Leusen, C.E. Hack, C.A. Bruijnzeel-Koomen, A.C. Knulst, J. Garssen, E. van Hoffen

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Allergen-IgE complexes are more efficiently internalized and presented by B cells than allergens alone. It has been suggested that IgG Abs induced by immunotherapy inhibit these processes. Food-allergic patients have high allergen-specific IgG levels. However, the role of these Abs in complex formation and binding to B cells is unknown. To investigate this, we incubated sera of peanut- or cow's milk-allergic patients with their major allergens to form complexes and added them to EBV-transformed or peripheral blood B cells (PBBCs). Samples of birch pollen-allergic patients were used as control. Complex binding to B cells in presence or absence of blocking Abs to CD23, CD32, complement receptor 1 (CR1, CD35), and/or CR2 (CD21) was determined by flow cytometry. Furthermore, intact and IgG-depleted sera were compared. These experiments showed that allergen-Ab complexes formed in birch pollen, as well as food allergy, contained IgE, IgG1, and IgG4 Abs and bound to B cells. Binding of these complexes to EBV-transformed B cells was completely mediated by CD23, whereas binding to PBBCs was dependent on both CD23 and CR2. This reflected differential receptor expression. Upon IgG depletion, allergen-Ab complexes bound to PBBCs exclusively via CD23. These data indicated that IgG Abs are involved in complex formation. The presence of IgG in allergen-IgE complexes results in binding to B cells via CR2 in addition to CD23. The binding to both CR2 and CD23 may affect Ag processing and presentation, and (may) thereby influence the allergic response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3526-3533
JournalThe Journal of Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • immune-responses
  • antigen presentation
  • blocking antibodies
  • natural antibody
  • peanut allergy
  • double-blind
  • fc regions
  • t-cells
  • activation
  • inhibition

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