Immunoglobulin-G subclasses in cystic fibrosis. IgG2 response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide

R. B. Fick, J. Olchowski, S. U. Squier, W. W. Merrill, H. Y. Reynolds

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39 Scopus citations


Pulmonary macrophage phagocytosis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is defective when this pathogen is opsonized with IgG antibodies isolated from serum samples from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). To evaluate this defect further, IgG subclasses in the serum and lung fluids of patients with CF were quantitated. The pattern of IgG subclasses in serum specimens from patients with CF (n = 15) and in patients without CF but with chronic obstructive airway disease and recurrent P. aeruginosa infection (n = 4) was significantly altered from that found in normal subjects (n = 31) Immunoglobulin-G2 and IgG3 expressed as percentages of total IgG subclasses or in micrograms per milliliter of serum were significantly elevated in the serum specimens of these patients (p < 0.05), and IgG1 was significantly decreased (p < 0.01). It appears that the increase in IgG2 in the serum of patients with CF and those without CF but with chronic P. aeruginosa infection may be in response to chronic antigenic stimulation by P. aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide. Evidence presented to support this includes: (1) IgG2 is not increased in CF serum if a history of P. aeruginosa infection is absent, (2) IgG2 levels expressed as percentages of total IgG subclasses in CF lung fluids were positively correlated (r = 0.73) with the number of colony-forming units of P. aeruginosa present in CF sputum specimens, and (3) IgG antibodies specifically eluted from P. aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide ligands on affinity gels were largely restricted to IgG2. The opsonic index, ([IgG3] + [IgG1]) : ([IgG2] + [IgG4]), is inverted in CF lung fluids (0.73:1; normal, 2:1). Because pulmonary macrophages show surface receptors binding primarily with IgG3 and IgG1, it may be that such an alteration in IgG subclasses in the respiratory secretions of patients with CF further inhibits opsonin-mediated clearance of P. aeruginosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-422
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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