Rheumatology International

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 79–83 | Cite as

Fibronectin in polyethylene glycol precipitates: evidence for a role in immune complexes

  • J. S. Coppock
  • D. L. Scott
  • S. D. Carter
  • T. M. Moreland
  • M. W. Robinson


Fibronectin is involved in the opsonic clearance of particulate material. It is present in plasma and synovial fluid and thus might be expected to have a role in the clearance of immune complexes. We have investigated this in a study of polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitable material from the serum of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other connective tissue disorders. Fibronectin is a significant component of PEG precipitates but the amount present is influenced by the method of preparation: more precipitates at 4°C than at 20°C. Fibronectin precipitation by PEG was considered to be related to immune complexes because: (a) there was no direct relationship between serum fibronectin levels and the amount present in PEG precipitates; (b) radiolabelled purified isolated fibronectin did not precipitate in 4% PEG; (c) there was a direct relationship between the amount of fibronectin in PEG precipitates and the amounts of immunoglobulin G, A, and M. These results indicate that fibronectin is involved in immune complexes in rheumatic diseases, though they do not show it has an important biological role in these circumstances.

Key words

Rheumatoid arthritis Immune complexes Fibronectin 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Coppock
    • 2
  • D. L. Scott
    • 1
  • S. D. Carter
    • 2
  • T. M. Moreland
    • 2
  • M. W. Robinson
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of RheumatologySt. Bartholomew's Hospital Clinical Research CentreLondonUK
  2. 2.The Rheumatism Research Wing, The Medical SchoolUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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