A complement (C)-dependent antiglobulin assay was utilized to determine the reactivity of non-C-fixing monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) with human granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells (CFU-GM). The variables of the assay were analyzed with non-C-fixing MoAb against Ia antigens, including CR11–462, which recognizes the same (or spatially close) determinant identified by the C-fixing anti-Ia MoAb Q5/13. The sensitivity of the antiglobulin assay was influenced by dilutions of anti-mouse Ig xenoantiserum and of rabbit C. Five non-C-fixing MoAb to Ia antigens, seven non-C-fixing MoAb to HLA-A,B antigens, and one non-C- fixing MoAb to beta 2-microglobulin induced marked inhibition of human CFU-GM in the antiglobulin assay. The activity of non-C-fixing MoAb in the antiglobulin assay was comparable to that of C-fixing anti-Ia and anti-HLA-A,B MoAb in the standard cytotoxicity assay. In addition, the cytotoxic effect of dilute C-fixing anti-Ia MoAb was enhanced when the antiglobulin technique was employed. The results of this study indicate that the antiglobulin assay is a rapid and simple technique for the characterization of antigens on human hematopoietic progenitors. Our data also indicate that Ia antigens are expressed on most CFU-GM and that the conflicting results in the literature (that is, those suggesting that Ia antigens are expressed on a smaller proportion of CFU-GM) may reflect differences in the cytolytic activity of the MoAb and rabbit C used.

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