Human sera have been examined for antibodies with specific reactivity for γE using the tanned cell hemagglutination test. Cells tanned with three different γE myeloma proteins provided a reproducible test system. Inhibition of agglutination reactions by γE proteins, but not by γG, γA, γM, or γD confirmed the specificity of these reactions. 8.5% of 304 serial serum samples obtained from miscellaneous hospitalized patients showed clear-cut anti-γ-globulins with specificity for γE. In most of these instances no definite clinical history of concomitant allergic disorders could be obtained. 53% of 73 patients with well-established allergic disorders (hay fever, extrinsic asthma) showed serum anti-γ-globulins with reactivity for γE. Some patients studied before and after desensitization to Bermuda grass allergen showed an increase in titer or a conversion from negative to positive reactions for anti-γE antibodies following several month courses of progressive desensitization. Gradient and gel filtration studies indicated that anti-γE globulins were 19S γM in all instances. No clear correlation was noted between quantitative serum γE levels and titer of anti-γE antibodies.
Ralph C. Williams Jr., Robert W. Griffiths, Jean D. Emmons, Richard C. Field