The high-affinity IgE receptor FcεRI is constitutively expressed in mast cells and basophils and is required for transmitting stimulatory signals upon engagement of IgE-bound allergens. FcεRI is also constitutively expressed in dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes in humans; however, the specific functions of the FcεRI expressed by these cells are not completely understood. Here, we found that FcεRI expressed by human blood DC antigen 1–positive (BDCA1+) DCs and monocytes, but not basophils, traffics to endolysosomal compartments under steady-state conditions. Furthermore, IgE bound to FcεRI on BDCA1+ DCs was rapidly endocytosed, transported to the lysosomes, and degraded in vitro. IgE injected into mice expressing human FcεRIα (FCER1A-Tg mice) was endocytosed by conventional DCs and monocytes, and endocytosis was associated with rapid clearance of circulating IgE from these mice. Importantly, this rapid IgE clearance was dependent on monocytes or DCs but not basophils. These findings strongly suggest that constitutive internalization of human FcεRI by DCs and monocytes distinctively contributes to serum IgE clearance.


Alexandra M. Greer, Nan Wu, Amy L. Putnam, Prescott G. Woodruff, Paul Wolters, Jean-Pierre Kinet, Jeoung-Sook Shin


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