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Sera of glaucoma patients show autoantibodies against myelin basic protein and complex autoantibody profiles against human optic nerve antigens

  • Stephanie C. Joachim
  • Jan Reichelt
  • Simone Berneiser
  • Norbert Pfeiffer
  • Franz H. GrusEmail author
Glaucoma

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to gain more information about the possible immunological mechanisms in glaucoma. We analyzed the complex autoantibody patterns against human optic nerve antigens in sera of patients with glaucoma and tried to identify important antigens.

Methods

Sera of 133 patients were included: healthy control subjects (n = 44), primary open-angle glaucoma (n = 44), and normal tension glaucoma patients (n = 45). The sera were tested against Western blots of human optic nerve, and antibody bands were visualized with chloronaphthol. IgG antibody patterns were analyzed by multivariate statistical techniques, and the most significant antigens were identified by mass spectrometry (Maldi-TOFTOF).

Results

All subjects, even healthy ones, showed different and complex antibody patterns. Glaucoma groups showed specific up- and down-regulations of antibody reactivities compared to the control group. The multivariate analysis of discriminance found significant differences (P < 0.05) in IgG antibody profiles against human optic nerve antigens between both glaucoma groups and healthy subjects. The identified antigens include: myelin basic protein (up-regulated in the POAG group), glial fibrillary acidic protein (down-regulated in the glaucoma groups), and vimentin (down-regulated in the glaucoma groups in comparison to controls).

Conclusions

Using human optic nerve antigen, we were able to demonstrate that complex IgG autoantibody patterns exist in sera of patients with glaucoma. Large correlations between the given and our previous studies using bovine optic nerve antigens could be seen. Furthermore, anti-myelin basic protein antibodies, which can also be detected in patients with multiple sclerosis, were found in sera of glaucoma patients.

Keywords

Antibody profile Glaucoma Myelin basic protein Optic nerve 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported in part by the DFG grant Gr1463/4–1 (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie C. Joachim
    • 1
  • Jan Reichelt
    • 1
  • Simone Berneiser
    • 1
  • Norbert Pfeiffer
    • 1
  • Franz H. Grus
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Experimental Ophthalmology, Department of OphthalmologyJohannes Gutenberg UniversityMainzGermany

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