Fc receptors for rat IgG subclasses (IgG2a, IgG2c, and IgG1) were studied on rat eosinophils by rosette formation with erythrocytes coated with monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) or anti-Ig antisera in a reverse assay. Inhibition experiments revealed that IgG2a and IgG2c bind to the same receptor (IgG2a/IgG2c Fc receptor), distinct from the receptor for IgG1. In addition to the recent demonstration of the blocking effect of IgG2c antibodies in immunity to schistosomes, the present results show that the existence of this common receptor led to the specific inhibition by IgG2c of IgG2a-mediated eosinophil peroxidase release. Kinetic experiments on Schistosoma mansoni-infected rat eosinophils indicate that the IgG2a/IgG2c Fc receptors were occupied by cytophilic antibodies of the IgG2a isotype during the early phase of infection and by IgG2c thereafter. By rosette experiments it was possible to displace both in vivo and in vitro cytophilically bound IgG2a from its receptor. These results confirm, therefore, the major role played by antibodies in the modulation of eosinophil effector function during schistosomiasis. They underline, moreover, the possible isotypic regulation of cell activation.

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