The ability of HLA antisera to inhibit granulocyte erythrophagocytosis (EP) of opsonized red blood cells (RBC) was evaluated. Human granulocytes (PMN) were separated from heparinized whole blood by the Ficoll-Isopaque technique and suspended in McCoy's medium. EP occurred when the PMN were incubated with opsonized RBC. For six HLA antibody specificities evaluated, prior incubation of PMN with HLA antisera resulted in significant inhibition of EP without cytolysis when the PMN donor was positive for the specific HLA antigen, but not when the donor was negative for the antigen. The inhibition was time- and dose- dependent. Prior absorption of HLA antisera with HLA-specific platelets reduced or abolished the inhibition. An example of anti-NB1 also inhibited EP in 4 individuals. These data suggest that HLA antibody may adversely affect granulocyte phagocytic function. Inhibition of EP might be useful in evaluating compatibility prior to granulocyte transfusion.

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