Distinct effector functions mediated by Fc regions of bovine IgG subclasses and their interaction with Fc gamma receptors

Cattle possess three IgG subclasses. However, the key immune functions, including complement and NK cell activation, and enhancement of phagocytosis, are not fully described for bovine IgG1, 2 and 3. We produced chimeric monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) consisting of a defined variable region linked to the constant regions of bovine IgG1, 2 and 3, and expressed His-tagged soluble recombinant bovine Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs) IA (CD64), IIA (CD32A), III (CD16) and Fcγ2R. Functional assays using bovinized mAbs were developed. IgG1 and IgG3, but not IgG2, activated complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Only IgG1 could activate cattle NK cells to mobilize CD107a after antigen crosslinking, a surrogate assay for antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity. Both IgG1 and IgG2 could trigger monocyte-derived macrophages to phagocytose fluorescently labelled antigen-expressing target cells. IgG3 induced only weak antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP). By contrast, monocytes only exhibited strong ADCP when triggered by IgG2. IgG1 bound most strongly to recombinant FcγRs IA, IIA and III, with weaker binding by IgG3 and none by IgG2, which bound exclusively to Fcγ2R. Immune complexes containing IgG1, 2 and 3 bound differentially to leukocyte subsets, with IgG2 binding strongly to neutrophils and monocytes and all subclasses binding platelets. Differential expression of the FcγRs on leukocyte subsets was demonstrated by surface staining and/or RT-qPCR of sorted cells, e.g., Fcγ2R mRNA was expressed in monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils, and platelets, potentially explaining their strong interactions with IgG2, and FcγRIII was expressed on NK cells, presumably mediating IgG1-dependent NK cell activation. These data reveal differences in bovine IgG subclass functionality, which do not correspond to those described in humans, mice or pigs, which is relevant to the study of these IgG subclasses in vaccine and therapeutic antibody development.

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