Published April 1, 1979 - More info
Using the Cowan I strain of Staphylococcus aureus, we compared the binding properties of human monomeric immunoglobulin (Ig)G and oligomeric or complexed IgG. Heat-aggregated IgG served as a model for complexed IgG and heat-killed, formalin-fixed S. aureus (StaphA) as a cellular receptor for IgG, in determining the parameters for oligomeric and monomeric binding. Because of its capacity for multipoint attachment, complexed IgG binding was favored over monomeric IgG binding, and this preferential binding was demonstrated kinetically in equivalent forward rates of binding but in a much slower rate of release from StaphA receptors. From binding studies, we determined which conditions maximize complexes IgG binding and minimized monomeric IgG binding and applied them to the development of an assay for aggregated IgG and immune complexes in human sera. The StaphA binding assay that was devised is quantitative, sensitive, and not complement dependent. It is relatively unaffected by factors such as heparin, complement fixation, native antibodies, and immunoglobulin concentrations, but is affected by the presence of rheumatoid factors. It compares favorably with two other complement-dependent assays of immune complexes, the 125I-Clq binding assay and the Raji cell assay, in terms of sensitivity and the size of immune complexes detected. Studies on the potential of the assay for detecting, isolating, and characterizing immune complexes in biological fluids are presented.