Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a therapeutic preparation of polyspecific human IgGs purified from plasma pooled from thousands of individuals. When administered at a high dose, IVIg inhibits inflammation and has proven efficacy in the treatment of various autoimmune and systemic inflammatory diseases. Importantly, IVIg therapy can ameliorate both auto-antibody-mediated and T-cell mediated immune pathologies. In the last few decades, extensive research in murine disease models has resulted in the elucidation of two novel anti-inflammatory mechanisms-of-action of IVIg: induction of FcγRIIB expression by sialylated Fc, and stimulation of regulatory T cells. Whereas controversial findings in mice studies have recently inspired intense scientific debate regarding the validity of the sialylated Fc-FcγRIIB model, the most fundamental question is whether these anti-inflammatory mechanisms of IVIg are operational in humans treated with IVIg. In this review, we examine the evidence for the involvement of these antiinflammatory mechanisms in the therapeutic effects of IVIg in humans. We demonstrate that although several elements of both immune-modulatory pathways of IVIg are activated in humans, incorrect extrapolations from mice to men have been made on the molecular and cellular components involved in these cascades that warrant for critical re-evaluation of these anti-inflammatory mechanisms of IVIg in humans.

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Frontiers in Immunology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Tjon, S.W.A, van Gent, R, Geijtenbeek, T.B.H, & Kwekkeboom, J. (2015). Differences in anti-inflammatory actions of intravenous immunoglobulin between mice and men: More than meets the eye. Frontiers in Immunology (Vol. 6). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00197