• Antibody transport;
  • Fcγ receptors;
  • IgG endocytosis

ABSTRACT: The ability of fresh human amnion to bind and internalize horseradish peroxidase-Iabeled IgG (IgG-HRP) was examined in an in vitro Ussing chamber system. The amnion demonstrated unique cell membrane receptors for the Fc portion of IgG molecules (FeyR). The FcγR exhibit exquisite specificity and affinity for IgG monomers as demonstrated by staining with labeled IgG. Labeled IgA, IgM, F(ab')2 fragments of IgG, aggregated IgG, and antigen-antibody complexes all failed to bind to the amnionic epithelial cells. Binding was only minimally affected by changes in ionic strength or pH when viewed at the light microscopic level. The FcγR are located on both the apical and basal cell membranes. The binding of IgG-HRP to the amnion cell membrane was detectable within 1 min, and internalization of the ligand occurred within 5 min. No binding of IgG-HRP was observed following treatment of the membrane with 0.25% trypsin for 30 min at room temperature. Incubation of the amnion at 4°C or in the presence of colchicine or cytochalasin D prevented internalization of the IgG-HRP. These experiments demonstrate FcγR on human amnionic epithelial cells that both bind and internalize IgG, thus allowing the amnion to be used as a model system for studying IgG transport.