Background. Anti-RhD antibodies (anti-D) are important in the prophylaxis of haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn (HDFN) due to RhD incompatibility. Current preparations of anti-D are sourced from hyperimmune human plasma, so its production carries a risk of disease and is dependent on donor availability. Despite the efforts to develop a monoclonal preparation with similar prophylactic properties to the plasma-derived anti-D, no such antibody is yet available. Here we studied the agglutinating, opsonic and haemolytic activities of two recombinant polymeric immunoglobulins (Ig) against the G antigen of the Rh complex.
Materials and methods. Recombinant polymeric anti-G IgG1 (IgG1μtp) and IgG3 (IgG3μtp) were produced in vitro, purified by protein G-affinity chromatography, and analysed by gel electrophoresis. Their agglutinating, opsonic and haemolytic activities were evaluated using haemagglutination, erythrophagocytosis, and complement activation assays.
Results. The recombinant IgG1μtp and IgG3μtp anti-G antibodies ranged from 150,000 to 1,000,000 Da in molecular weight, indicating the formation of polymeric IgG. No complement activation or haemolytic activity was detected upon incubation of RhD-positive red-blood cells with the polymeric anti-G IgG. Both polymers were better opsonins than a prophylactic preparation of plasma-derived anti-D.
Discussion. The enhanced opsonic properties of the polymeric anti-G IgG1μtp and IgG3μtp could allow them to mediate the clearance of RhD-positive red blood cells from circulation more efficiently than natural or other synthetic prophylactic anti-D options. Their inability to induce complement-mediated haemolysis would be prophylactically convenient and is comparable in vitro to that of the available plasma-derived polyclonal anti-D preparations. The described properties suggest that polymeric antibodies like these (but with anti-D specificity) may be testable candidates for prophylaxis of HDFN caused by anti-D.
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