We recently described tolerance induction with factor VIII/IX, cyclophosphamide, and high-dose intravenous IgG in hemophilia A or B patients with coagulation inhibitory antibodies. Circulating noninhibitory antibodies complexed with factor IX have been demonstrated in tolerant hemophilia B patients. Similar findings are now described in six tolerant hemophilia A patients. Complexes between factor VIII and the ‘tolerant’ antibody were demonstrated by subjecting plasma to gel filtration chromatography, void fractions containing factor VIII/vWF complexes being collected and adsorbed to protein A. Using 125I-labeled F(ab')2 fragments against IgG subclass and factor VIII antigen, complexes between an IgG4 antibody and factor VIII were found to adsorb to protein A. After infusion of factor VIII to tolerant patients, all factor VIII circulated in complex with IgG4 antibody. In three of the patients, the ‘tolerant’ antibodies inhibited an ELISA specific for factor VIII light chain but, unlike the pretolerant antibodies, did not bind radiolabeled factor VIII heavy chain. Although after induction of tolerance the patients still have circulating IgG4 antibodies against factor VIII, the antibodies differ in specificity, lack coagulation inhibitory activity, and do not enhance the rate of elimination of factor VIII.

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