Administration of anti-RhD immunoglobulin (Ig) to decrease maternal alloimmunization (antibody-mediated immune suppression [AMIS]) was a landmark clinical development. However, IgG has potent immune-stimulatory effects in other settings (antibody-mediated immune enhancement [AMIE]). The dominant thinking has been that IgG causes AMIS for antigens on RBCs but AMIE for soluble antigens. However, we have recently reported that IgG against RBC antigens can cause either AMIS or AMIE as a function of an IgG subclass. Recent advances in mechanistic understanding have demonstrated that RBC alloimmunization requires the IFN-α/-β receptor (IFNAR) and is inhibited by the complement C3 protein. Here, we demonstrate the opposite for AMIE of an RBC alloantigen (IFNAR is not required and C3 enhances). RBC clearance, C3 deposition, and antigen modulation all preceded AMIE, and both CD4+ T cells and marginal zone B cells were required. We detected no significant increase in antigen-specific germinal center B cells, consistent with other studies of RBC alloimmunization that show extrafollicular-like responses. To the best of our knowledge, these findings provide the first evidence of an RBC alloimmunization pathway which is IFNAR independent and C3 dependent, thus further advancing our understanding of RBCs as an immunogen and AMIE as a phenomenon.


Arijita Jash, Thomas Pridmore, James B. Collins, Ariel M. Hay, Krystalyn E. Hudson, Chance John Luckey, James C. Zimring


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