IgG autoantibodies eluted from RBCs of antiglobulin positive normal blood donors contained at least two antibody populations, an IgG autoantibody (Ab 1), and an IgG population (Ab 2) that agglutinated RBCs coated with some Rh(D) alloantibodies. Eight of 24 autoantibody eluates tested agglutinated 3 of 10 anti-Rh(D) sensitized RBCs. The agglutinating activity was inhibited specifically by preincubation of the autoantibody eluate with the reactive anti-D. The reaction did not require the Fc domain of the anti-Rh(D), since autoantibody eluates agglutinated RBCs coated with F(ab')2 prepared from the reactive anti-D sera. These findings indicate that the RBCs of some antiglobulin- positive blood donors contain an immunoglobulin auto-antiidiotype (Ab 2) against the RBC autoantibody (Ab 1) which is demonstrable through its cross-reactivity with selected Rh(D) alloantibodies. Identification of auto-antiidiotypes in RBC autoimmunity lends support to the idiotype- antiidiotype network hypothesis of immune regulation and is consistent with the bizarre and complex serology of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The absence of clinical hemolysis in antiglobulin-positive normal blood donors suggests that immunoglobulin idiotype-antiidiotype interactions may play a role in modulating the effects of RBC autoimmunity.

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