The loss of tolerance to self-antigens is the unequivocal “red line” of autoimmunity: both development of autoreactive T and B cells and production of polyclonal autoantibodies represent seminal keys to the pathogenesis of protean autoimmune diseases. Most of these autoantibodies are immunoglobulins G (IgG), functionally distinguished in four subclasses named IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4, due to structural differences in the hinge and heavy chain constant regions. Different studies analyzed serum levels of IgG subclasses in the course of different disorders, showing that they might have a pathogenic role by regulating interactions among immunoglobulins, Fc-gamma receptors and complement. To date, the mechanisms promoting different IgG subclasses distribution during the natural history of most autoimmune diseases remain somewhat unclear. Evidence from the medical literature shows that the serum IgG profile is peculiar for many autoimmune diseases, suggesting that different subclasses could be specific for the underlying driving autoantigens. A better knowledge of IgG subsets may probably help to elucidate their pathological task, but also to define their relevance for diagnostic purposes, patients’ personalized management, and prognosis assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalImmunological Investigations
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Immunoglobulin


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