Antibodies to human IgE can combine with IgE on human basophils and cause release of intracellular histamine. Previous reports have demonstrated that anti-IgG is capable of eliciting the same response, but the possibility of contamination by antibodies which could also react with IgE remained to be explored. In this study, specifically purified antibodies to: 1) Fc of IgG, 2) Fc of IgE and 3) light chains were used to obtain histamine release from leukocytes of allergic donors. The inhibition of this reaction with purified IgG, IgE and light chains was then determined. It was shown that histamine release by anti-IgG was not due to specificities which recognize the ε chain and was only minimally due to anti-light chain specificities.

Histamine release mediated by allergen and anti-IgG was also inhibited by drugs which increase intracellular cyclic-AMP. Both processes were similarly inhibited. This suggests that anti-IgG-mediated histamine release mimics naturally occurring allergen-mediated release: both are noncytotoxic, secretory processes.

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