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Monday 01 November 2004

Complement activation and C3b deposition on rituximab-opsonized cells substantially blocks binding of phycoerythrin-labeled anti-mouse IgG probes to rituximab.

By: Beum PV, Kennedy AD, Li Y, Pawluczkowycz AW, Williams ME, Taylor RP.

J Immunol Methods 2004 Nov;294(1-2):37-42

Binding of rituximab (RTX) to CD20+ B cells activates complement and promotes covalent deposition of C3b fragments on the cells. Previously, we reported that the deposited C3b is substantially co-localized with cell-bound RTX, and therefore C3b may block access of antibody probes specific for RTX. We examined the ability of several commercially available phycoerythrin (PE)-labeled anti-Mouse IgG antibodies to bind to B cells opsonized in milieu which allow or preclude complement activation. Even when large amounts of fluorescently labeled RTX are bound to the cells, binding of the anti-Mouse IgG probes is substantially inhibited if C3b is deposited on the cells. However, cell-bound RTX is still demonstrable on development with a monoclonal antibody (mAb) specific for the human Fc region of RTX. Our findings may provide an alternative explanation for data presented in recent reports suggesting that binding of RTX to cells in plasma leads to internalization of RTX and CD20.

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