CD4 T-cell proliferation can occur irrespective of whether antibodies induce AMIS.
Antibodies that rapidly remove the target antigen in the absence of RBC clearance can switch an augmented antibody response to AMIS.
Antibodies against fetal red blood cell (RBC) antigens can cause hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). Reductions in HDFN due to anti-RhD antibodies have been achieved through use of Rh immune globulin (RhIg), a polyclonal antibody preparation that causes antibody-mediated immunosuppression (AMIS), thereby preventing maternal immune responses against fetal RBCs. Despite the success of RhIg, it is only effective against 1 alloantigen. The lack of similar interventions that mitigate immune responses toward other RBC alloantigens reflects an incomplete understanding of AMIS mechanisms. AMIS has been previously attributed to rapid antibody-mediated RBC removal, resulting in B-cell ignorance of the RBC alloantigen. However, our data demonstrate that antibody-mediated RBC removal can enhance de novo alloimmunization. In contrast, inclusion of antibodies that possess the ability to rapidly remove the target antigen in the absence of detectable RBC clearance can convert an augmented antibody response to AMIS. These results suggest that the ability of antibodies to remove target antigens from the RBC surface can trigger AMIS in situations in which enhanced immunity may otherwise occur. In doing so, these results hold promise in identifying key antibody characteristics that can drive AMIS, thereby facilitating the design of AMIS approaches toward other RBC antigens to eliminate all forms of HDFN.