A total of 20 of 23 IgG3 mAb derived from unmanipulated autoimmune MRL/MpJ-lpr/lpr mice was shown to generate cryoglobulins which were composed exclusively of IgG3. Although three IgG3 mAb failed to develop cryoglobulins, they were able to bind nonspecifically to any IgG3 molecules as efficiently as cryoprecipitable IgG did. The direct role of the gamma 3 constant region for the generation of cryoglobulins was demonstrated by the following findings: 1) the cryoglobulin activity was independent of the specificity of the IgG3 mAb, 2) no mAb other than those of the IgG3 subclass, including IgM rheumatoid factors (RF), generated cryoglobulins, and 3) the cryoglobulin activity was gained after the Ig class switch of mAb from IgM to IgG3. Analysis of Ig components in three different sources of cryoglobulins, either induced by the injection of bacterial LPS or by the infection with Plasmodium yoelii in BALB/c mice or developed spontaneously in MRL/MpJ-lpr/lpr mice, revealed the selective concentration of IgG3 in these cryoglobulins; greater than 99%, 73% and 58% of IgG recoverable from these three cryoglobulins, respectively, were IgG3. This further attests to the major role of IgG3 in the generation of cryoglobulins in mice. In addition, the enhanced formation and even induction of IgG3 cryoglobulins in the presence of IgM anti-IgG3 RF mAb, and the enrichment of IgM RF in LPS- or malaria-induced cryoglobulins indicated that IgM RF can be involved in the generation of cryoglobulins by interacting with noncryoprecipitable IgG3 as well as cryoprecipitable IgG3.

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