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IVIG preparations have biological effects in vivo that are not fully understood. Possible effects include the property to stimulate Fc receptors on various cell types. To study whether IVIG may interact with neutrophils we developed an in vitro system, in which neutrophils, in whole blood or purified, were incubated with IVIG and assessed for degranulation by measuring the release of elastase and lactoferrin in culture medium. All commercially available IVIG preparations tested induced degranulation of neutrophils when incubated for 2 h at therapeutically relevant concentrations. In studies with blocking antibodies against Fc receptors (FcR), this degranulation was shown to be dependent on FcγRII, whereas FcγRIII had no effect. Experiments with purified neutrophils as well as binding experiments with labelled IVIG preparations indicated that neutrophil degranulation resulted from a direct interaction of IVIG with neutrophils. Using gel filtration fractions, it was found that polymeric and dimeric IgG present in IVIG was mainly responsible for the degranulation. We suggest that degranulation of neutrophils may contribute to the (side)effects of IVIG treatment in vivo.