Persistent infection of mice with lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV) is associated with polyclonal B cell activation, autoimmunity, and circulating hydrophobic IgG-containing immune complexes (ICs), which bind to the surfaces of uncoated ELISA plates in the presence of 0.05% Tween 20. We demonstrate here that hydrophobic IgG-containing ICs also appear naturally in the plasma of autoimmune MRL/lpr mice. These and the similar hydrophobic ICs of LDV-infected mice as well as pigs coincide on ELISA plate surfaces with TGF-β, apparently in the form of an IgG-TGF-β complex. Circulating hydrophobic IgG-containing ICs are also susceptible to considerable amplification in vitro by exposure to alkaline conditions. By this latter method, the fraction of in vivo hydrophobic IgG, relative to the maximum in vitro chemically inducible IgG, was found to be about 20% in the plasma of LDV-infected mice, 5% in normal mouse plasma, and less than about 2% in pig plasma. These results indicate the potential for both chemically induced and protein-binding contributions to the generation of hydrophobic IgG-containing molecules, and have implications for immunopathological mechanisms in autoimmunity and persistent virus infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine