Low anti-RhD IgG-Fc-fucosylation in pregnancy: a new variable predicting severity in haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.

R. Kapur, L. Della Valle, M. Sonneveld, A. Hipgrave Ederveen, R. Visser, P. Ligthart, M. de Haas, M. Wuhrer, C.E. van der Schoot, G. Vidarsson

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Haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) may occur when maternal IgG antibodies against red blood cells (RBCs), often anti-RhD (anti-D) antibodies, cross the placenta and mediate the destruction of RBCs via phagocytic IgG-Fc-receptors (FcγR). Clinical severity is not strictly related to titre and is more accurately predicted by the diagnostically-applied monocyte-based antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), a sensitive test with relatively low specificity. This suggests that other factors are involved in the pathogenesis of HDFN. Binding of IgG to FcγR requires the N-linked glycan at position 297 in the IgG-Fc-region, consisting of several different glycoforms. We therefore systematically analysed IgG-derived glycopeptides by mass spectrometry from 70 anti-D IgG1 antibodies purified from the plasma of alloimmunized pregnant women. This revealed a variable decrease in Fc-fucosylation in the majority of anti-D IgG1 (even down to 12%), whereas the total IgG of these patients remained highly fucosylated, like in healthy individuals (>90%). The degree of anti-D fucosylation correlated significantly with CD16 (FcγRIIIa)-mediated ADCC, in agreement with increased affinity of defucosylated IgG to human FcγRIIIa. Additionally, low anti-D fucosylation correlated significantly with low fetal-neonatal haemoglobin levels, thus with increased haemolysis, suggesting IgG-fucosylation to be an important pathological feature in HDFN with diagnostic potential
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-945
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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