- Key words: CD16, FcgammaRIII, neutrophils, autoimmunity, neutropenia.
- Page(s) : 212-23
- Published in: 1998
In recent years, significant progress have been made on the biochemical and molecular characterization of cell surface antigens of human polymorphonuclears. Particularly, the molecular basis of the NA1/NA2 polymorphism associated to Fcupsilon RIIIb (CD16), the main target of autoantibodies against neutrophils, was clarified. Autoimmune neutropenia is observed in an heterogeneous group of disorders. The major clinical manifestation of this cytopenia is a marked increase in susceptibility to infections since the primary role of neutrophils is bacterial killing. However, autoantibodies are directed at molecules which exhibit important functional properties. These are members of the superfamily of immunoglobulins, the main example being Fc upsilon RIIIb, Fc upsilon RII, integrins (CD11b/CD18) or lactosaminoglycans (CD15). Therefore, the severity of infections is related to the rate of neutropenia but most likely also depends on the function of the target of the antibody.