Purified human peripheral blood monocytes were stimulated with aggregated human myeloma proteins of different classes or the calcium ionophore A23187 and the release of leukotrienes C4 and B4 (LTC4, LTB4), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) into the supernatant was determined. The ionophore induced release of 10 +/- 5 ng LTC4/10(6) cells and 25 +/- 8 ng LTB4/10(6) cells. Aggregated IgG, IgA, and IgE, but not IgM or monomeric immunoglobulins (Ig), induced release of LTC4 and LTB4 that was approximately 10 to 20% of that induced by ionophore. In addition, IgG, IgA, and IgE, but not IgM, induced release of PGE2 (range 0.015 to 0.22 ng/10(6) cells). Aggregated Ig induced LTC4, LTB4, and PGE2 release in a dose-dependent manner; maximal leukotriene (LT) release was observed by 30 min, in contrast to PG release, which continued to increase up to 2.5 hr. Both ionophore- and Ig-induced LTC4 and LTB4 release were completely inhibited by removal of calcium from the media and by preincubation of cells with nordihydroguaiaretic acid. Indomethacin inhibited Ig-induced PGE2 release by 80%. Phagocytosis of the Ig aggregates was not required for LT or PGE2 release, since release was not inhibited by cytochalasin B. Release of LTC4, LTB4, and PGE2 induced by IgG, IgA, and IgE, but not IgM, correlated with the presence or absence of monocyte Fc receptors (FcR) as determined by rosette assays. The data suggest that IgG, IgA, and IgE immune complexes mostly likely induce monocyte arachidonic acid metabolism via cross-linking of FcR. The ability of monocytes to release eicosanoids in the absence of phagocytosis suggests that interaction of monocytes with immobilized immune complexes, such as those deposited in blood vessel walls or glomerular basement membranes, could initiate metabolism of arachidonic acid by monocytes. Such a mechanism could contribute to inflammatory reactions characterized by mononuclear cell infiltrates.

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