Address reprint requests to: R.G. Strauss, MD, Department of Pathology, 153A MRC, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242; e-mail: email@example.com.
Antibodies provoked by the transfusion of biotin-labeled red cells
Version of Record online: 25 APR 2002
Volume 39, Issue 10, pages 1065–1069, October 1999
How to Cite
Cordle, D.G., Strauss, R.G., Lankford, G. and Mock, D.M. (1999), Antibodies provoked by the transfusion of biotin-labeled red cells. Transfusion, 39: 1065–1069. doi: 10.1046/j.1537-2995.1999.39101065.x
Supported in part by Program Project Grant HL46925 from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and General Clinical Research Centers Program Grant RR00059 from the National Institutes of Health.
- Issue online: 25 APR 2002
- Version of Record online: 25 APR 2002
- Received: 18 1998; Revised: 05 March 1999; Accepted: 09 March 1999
- B-RBCs = biotin-labeled (biotinylated) RBCs;
- RBC(s) = red cell(s);
- sulfo-NHS = sulfo-N-hydroxysuccinimide
BACKGROUND: Biotin-labeled (biotinylated) red cells (B-RBCs) offer a technique by which to study RBC volume and circulating kinetics without in vivo radiation. The immunogenicity of B-RBCs is undefined.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: To determine if biotinylation renders RBCs immunogenic, autologous B-RBCs were transfused to 20 healthy subjects, and plasma samples were obtained before transfusion and serially for up to 6 months after transfusion. These serial samples, plus plasma from 20 normal control subjects not given B-RBCs, were screened for antibodies to B-RBCs by use of an antiglobulin technique against aliquots of group O RBCs from a single donor—one aliquot biotinylated and one aliquot not biotinylated (i.e., test and control RBCs). Posttransfusion recovery and survival of B-RBCs were also determined.
RESULTS: Plasma from none of 20 normal nontransfused subjects reacted with B-RBCs. Similarly, none of the 20 subjects given autologous B-RBC transfusions exhibited antibodies before transfusion. However, 3 of the 20 subjects transiently produced antibodies to B-RBCs after transfusion. Antibodies disappeared within 6 months in 2 of these 3 subjects and within 12 months in the third. Antibody reactivity was not reduced by dithiothreitol, but in 2 of the 3 subjects, B-RBC antibodies were neutralized by incubation with biotin solution. Circulating RBC kinetics were not altered in the 3 subjects with antibody. The significance of these observations is unclear, because antibodies were just beginning to emerge during the studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Biotinylation does not render RBCs reactive with normal human plasma (i.e., presumably does not evoke neoantigens). Transfused B-RBCs occasionally provoke IgG antibodies in healthy subjects. Because the biologic effects of B-RBC antibodies currently are unknown, testing for them is recommended when multiple B-RBC transfusions are given to study RBC volume or circulating kinetics.