As reported previously, and confirmed here in 26 donors, the serum IgE level (2.6-5,500 ng/ml) correlates well (rs = 0.95, P less than 0.001) with the in vivo number of IgE molecules/basophil (6,000-600,000). The total number of IgE receptors/basophil was monitored by incubating them with an IgE-rich serum (15 microgram/ml), quantitatively stripping IgE from the cells at pH 3.7, and measuring eluted IgE by a direct radioimmunosorbent test. Saturation of receptors for each donor was achieved with 15 nM IgE (3 microgram/ml). The proportion of receptors occupied in vivo correlated with the serum IgE (rs = 0.84, P less than 0.001) whereas the average association constant of the receptors was independent of serum IgE and ranged from 7.1 X 10(8)/M to 2.8 X 10(10)/M, averaging 7.7 X 10(9)/M. Unexpectedly, the total number of IgE receptors/basophil was closely related to the serum IgE level. (rs = 0.92, P less than 0.001). Thus, either there is genetic association between serum IgE and the number of basophil IgE receptors, or, more likely, the receptor number is modulated by the serum IgE concentration.
F J Malveaux, M C Conroy, N F Adkinson Jr, L M Lichtenstein