The serological and physicochemical properties of the following three forms of human anti-γ-globulin factors were compared: (a) rheumatoid factors; (b) Milgrom type anti-γ-globulin factors; and (c) factors directed against an antigen in human γG-globulin that is hidden in the intact molecule and revealed by enzymatic digestion at low pH. The property common to these factors is ability to interact with human γG-globulin; they are distinguishable because they react with different antigenic groups on this molecule.
In all of five sera, the Milgrom type anti-γ-globulin factors were γM-globulins. They reacted with various human γG-globulin antibodies but failed to interact with γM-globulin type antibodies in agglutination and absorption experiments. When isolated from other anti-γ-globulin factors, they agglutinated red cells coated with intact anti-Rh antibodies, but failed to react with cells cells coated with pepsin-digested anti-Rh antibody. These observations indicate that the agglutinator reacts with the crystallizable, inert fragment of γG-globulin.
Anti-γ-globulin activity directed against an antigen in human γG-globulin revealed by pepsin digestion was demonstrated in γG-, γA-, and γM-globulins. This anti-γ-globulin factor could be absorbed by antigen-antibody precipitates containing human antibody, which shows that the hidden antigen in human γG-globulin is revealed not only by enzymatic digestion at low pH, but also when γG-globulin is present as antibody in an antigen-antibody precipitate. Rheumatoid factors and Milgrom type anti-γ-globulin factors were also absorbed by antigen-antibody precipitates containing human antibody.
The results indicate that the three distinct forms of antiγ-globulin factors may all be produced as a result of antigenic stimulation by autologous antigen-antibody complexes.