Fetomaternal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FMAIT) is caused by maternal generation of antibodies specific for paternal platelet antigens and can lead to fetal intracranial hemorrhage. A SNP in the gene encoding integrin β3 causes a clinically important maternal-paternal antigenic difference; Leu33 generates the human platelet antigen 1a (HPA-1a), whereas Pro33 generates HPA-1b. As a potential treatment to prevent fetal intracranial hemorrhage in HPA-1a alloimmunized pregnancies, we generated an antibody that blocks the binding of maternal HPA-1a–specific antibodies to fetal HPA-1a1b platelets by combining a high-affinity human HPA-1a–specific scFv (B2) with an IgG1 constant region modified to minimize Fcγ receptor–dependent platelet destruction (G1Δnab). B2G1Δnab saturated HPA-1a+ platelets and substantially inhibited binding of clinical HPA-1a–specific sera to HPA-1a+ platelets. The response of monocytes to B2G1Δnab-sensitized platelets was substantially less than their response to unmodified B2G1, as measured by chemiluminescence. In addition, B2G1Δnab inhibited chemiluminescence induced by B2G1 and HPA-1a–specific sera. In a chimeric mouse model, B2G1 and polyclonal Ig preparations from clinical HPA-1a–specific sera reduced circulating HPA-1a+ platelets, concomitant with transient thrombocytopenia. As the Δnab constant region is uninformative in mice, F(ab′)2 B2G1 was used as a proof of principle blocking antibody and prevented the in vivo platelet destruction seen with B2G1 and polyclonal HPA-1a–specific antibodies. These results provide rationale for human clinical studies.
Cedric Ghevaert, David A. Wilcox, Juan Fang, Kathryn L. Armour, Mike R. Clark, Willem H. Ouwehand, Lorna M. Williamson