To evaluate subclass specificity and aggregate size requirements of IgG receptors on mouse cells, we measured binding of radiolabeled monomeric and BDB-aggregated mouse myeloma proteins fractionated into various sizes by means of gel filtration. Monomers, tetramers, and high molecular weight (approximately 10(7) daltons) aggregates were used. The various cells and cell lines studied could be segregated into three patterns of reactivity: (a) Macrophage and macrophage-like cell lines bound monomer IgG2a preferentially; high molecular weight IgG aggregates bound as follows: IgG1 = IgG2b = IgG2a. (b) Lymphoid lines D2N and S49 showed no capacity to bind monomer IgG2a; high molecular weight aggregates bound as follows: IgG1 = IgG2b less than IgG2a. (c) Other Thy-1-positive lymphoid cell lines (EL4 and L5178) and normal T and B cells showed no capacity to bind monomer IgG; high molecular weight IgG aggregates bound to a lesser extent than to cells of the first two categories in the following manner: IgG1 less than IgG2b greater than or equal to IgG2a. The variable pattern of reactivity of the macrophage-like cell lines with monomer and aggregated IgG suggested that two distinct receptors for IgG were present: one capable of binding IgG2a and another capable of binding all aggregates. Further evidence for this hypothesis was obtained by analysis of the inhibitory capacity of different IgG subclasses on the binding of aggregated IgG and monomer IgG2a to P388 cells. Inhibition of monomer IgG2a binding was effected only by monomer or aggregated IgG2a, whereas inhibition of binding of aggregated IgG1 or IgG2b was noted with aggregates of all three subclasses with some preferential inhibition by monomer IgG2b being observed. Furthermore, monomer IgG2b binding was preferentially inhibitable by monomer IgG2b. It is postulated from these data that two receptor sites are present on this macrophage-like cell line, one reactive with aggregates of all three subclasses as well as monomer IgG2b, and another receptor specific for monomer IgG2a which also binds aggregated IgG2a. Support of this concept was obtained by trypsinization experiments in which the binding of monomer IgG2a was markedly decreased by trypsin treatment of cells, whereas the binding of aggregated IgG2b was unaffected by this treatment.

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