The binding properties of surface receptors of immunoglobulins on mouse macrophages were studied with mouse myeloma proteins and normal peritoneal macrophages, thioglycollate-stimulated macrophages, and a macrophage cell line, P388D1. Primary cultures of mouse embryo fibroblasts served as controls. IgG2a proteins were bound strongly;IgG2b was bound weakly (one-twentieth as well as IgG2a);IgM, IgA, and IgG1 were not bound significantly. The number of binding sites per cell for IgG2a was 4 X 10(5) for thioglycollate-stimulated cells and 1 X 10(5) for normal and P388D1 cells. Binding was exothermal: with decreasing temperature the equilibrium (association) constants increased and dissociation rate constants decreased (at 37degreesC the respective values were 2 X 10(7) M-1 and 0.26 min-1, the latter value corresponds to a half time for dissociation of 2.6 min). From the rapidity of association and dissociation, it appears that the surface of the macrophage is in a dynamic equilibrium with IgG2a molecules in the cell's immediate microenvironment. The receptors for IgG2a are clearly specific for determinants in the immunoglobulin constant domain: two IgG2a proteins with greatly different isoelectric points (determined by isoelectric focusing) were bound with the same affinity to the same receptors; moreover, the Fc fragment was bound and Fab fragments were not. The Fc receptors for IgG2a proteins were readily eliminated by exposing macrophages briefly to trypsin. The receptors were regenerated during subsequent cultivation in serum-free medium; regeneration was inhibited totally by cycloheximide and partially by actinomycin D.

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