Unlike other hamster phagocytes, hamster pulmonary macrophages (PM) avidly ingest albumin-coated latex particles in the absence of serum. They also possess a highly specific cell surface antigen. To evaluate the relationship between these two characteristics, PM were incubated with mouse monoclonal antibody directed against the PM antigen. After unbound antibody was removed, the amount of bound antibody and the phagocytic capability of PM were measured by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Maximum antibody binding produced a 25% inhibition of ingestion. Particle attachment was not affected. This effect was antigen specific, since neither a nonspecific mouse myeloma protein of the same subclass nor a mouse antibody that bound to another hamster surface antigen had any effect on binding or ingestion. If antigen-specific F(ab')2 fragments were introduced both before and during the period of phagocytosis, the inhibition of particle ingestion approached 100%. Particle binding increased at low F(ab')2 concentrations but declined at higher concentrations. Because calcium may play a role in the ingestion process, the effect of antibody on 45Ca uptake was evaluated. It was observed that antigen-specific F(ab')2 fragments stimulated 45Ca uptake, whereas control antibodies did not. These results suggest that the antigen reacting with our anti-hamster PM monoclonal antibody is involved in immune opsonin-independent phagocytosis and that calcium participates in this phagocytic process.

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