Abstract

Fc receptors are important effector molecules of neutrophilic granulocytes (polymorphonuclear neutrophils [PMN]), connecting phagocytic cells and the specific immune response. Neutrophils from healthy donors express the low-affinity receptors for IgG Fc gamma RII (CD32) and Fc gamma RIII (CD16), but not the high-affinity receptor Fc gamma RI (CD64). The latter has been found on neutrophils from patients with certain bacterial infections and can be induced in vitro after incubation with interferon-gamma. We show here that neutrophils strongly express Fc gamma RI after in vivo application of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF). PMN from patients receiving rhG-CSF displayed higher cytotoxicity against Daudi lymphoma cells in vitro compared with control patients and with healthy donors. Fab fragments against Fc gamma RII (monoclonal antibody [MoAb] IV.3) inhibited neutrophil-mediated cytotoxicity of healthy donors but not of patients during rhG-CSF therapy. Therefore, expression of Fc receptors by PMN was investigated by flow cytometry and the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) was compared. After staining with MoAb 32.2 against Fc gamma RL, the median MFI of neutrophils from G-CSF patients (median, 4.78; range, 2.40 to 8.50; n = 5) was significantly higher (P = .002 and P = .001, respectively) than the median MFI of patients not receiving G-CSF (median, 1.23; range, 1.01 to 1.58; n = 6) and the median MFI of healthy donors (median, 1.04; range, 0.67 to 1.12; n = 6). Fc gamma RI disappeared after the discontinuing of the G- CSF injections, but was reinduced during the next treatment cycle with rhG-CSF. The high expression of Fc gamma RI during rhG-CSF therapy correlated with enhanced cytotoxicity. In vitro incubation with rhG-CSF also enhances cytotoxicity, but only minor increments in Fc gamma RI expression were observed. Thus, during in vivo application of rhG-CSF neutrophils acquire an additional potent receptor for mediating tumor cell killing in vitro by induction of the high-affinity receptor for IgG (Fc gamma RI, CD64).

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