CD20 monoclonal antibodies decrease interleukin-4-stimulated expression of the low-affinity receptor for IgE (FcϵRII/CD23) in human B cells by increasing the extent of its cleavage



CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) B1 is known to inhibit B cell proliferation. We show that B1 reduced both anti-μ + interleukin-4 (IL-4)-induced DNA synthesis and the concomitant expression of CD23 at the surface of human tonsillar B cells. B1 mAb had no effect on CD23 mRNA levels. The disappearance of CD23 molecule from the surface correlates with an increase of soluble CD23 fragments in the culture medium, indicating that CD20 mAb B1 stimulated the cleavage of the molecule. B1 also inhibits IgE production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells cultured in the presence of IL-4. Suppression of IgE synthesis and enhancement of CD23 cleavage are concomitant but appear not to be functionally related.