Abstract

The relation of human erythrocyte Rh0(D) to Du sites is an important unresolved question in the field of immunohematology. To compare the immunological reactivity of Rh0(D)-positive and Du erythrocytes, the binding characteristics of two anti-Rh0(D) antisera to human Rh0(D)- positive and Du (“low-grade”) erythrocytes were studied. 14C-Protein A and direct antibody-labeled techniques were used to generate binding curves and to derive double-reciprocal plots. The results show that the number of antigen sites differ by a factor of 10 to 15 between the Rh0(D)-positive and Du red cells, but that the dissociation constants between anti-Rh0(D) and the Rh0(D) and Du antigens are indistinguishable when studied by the two labeling methods and two different anti-Rh0(D) antibodies. The extent of binding to 112 different Du samples showed a normal distribution and was independent of apparent phenotype. These data suggest immunologic identity of Rh0(D) and Du (“low-grade”) sites and that the difference between the antigens of Rh0(D) and Du cells is quantitative only. The data are incompatible with the “missing mosaic” and gene interaction theories of mechanism.

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