Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 186, Issue 2, pp 109–113

Autoantibodies with a protective function: polyreactive antibodies against alkaline phosphatase in bacterial infections

  • K. Ritter
  • Annette Fudickar
  • Nicola Heine
  • Reiner Thomssen
ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION

DOI: 10.1007/s004300050052

Cite this article as:
Ritter, K., Fudickar, A., Heine, N. et al. Med Microbiol Immunol (1997) 186: 109. doi:10.1007/s004300050052

Abstract

In patients with acute bacterial infections antibodies directed against a particular bacterial antigen were detected. The molecular mass of this bacterial antigen was 50 kDa as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis. By comparison of the NH2-terminal amino acid sequence, the 50-kDa antigen was identified as alkaline phosphatase (AP). Affinity-purified antibodies from patients' sera directed against the bacterial AP (anti-alpha) were also shown to react with human and animal AP, which have different structures. Anti-alpha are IgG subtype 3 immunoglobulins, and their light chains are of the kappa type. Upon isoelectric focussing, the anti-alpha formed a scalariform pattern with five to seven bands in the pH range 7–9. The anti-alpha have an opsonic activity and cause a five- to eightfold increase of phagocytosis of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. According to their polyreactivity, their sudden rise early in infection, their oligoclonality, as well as their opsonizing properties, they are assumed to be permanently available natural antibodies that take part in early defence mechanisms.

Key words Autoantibodies Alkaline phosphatase Acute bacterial infections 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ritter
    • 1
  • Annette Fudickar
    • 2
  • Nicola Heine
    • 2
  • Reiner Thomssen
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Microbiology, RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstrasse 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany Fax: 49-241 8888483DE
  2. 2.Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 57, D-37075 Göttingen, GermanyDE

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