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Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 93–99 | Cite as

Characterization of anti-crystallin autoantibodies in patients with cataract

  • K. B. Merck
  • W. A. de Haard Hoekman
  • J. R. M. Cruysberg
  • H. Bloemendal
  • W. W. de Jong
Research Articles

Abstract

Anti-crystallin autoantibodies have often been demonstrated in the serum of healthy persons and, especially, patients with cataract. In no case, however, have the specific crystallin subunits been identified against which such antibodies are directed. This information would be of particular interest in view of the recent finding that several crystallin subunits occur constitutively outside the lens. To fill this gap, we analysed the sera of 15 patients with mature cataract by means of 1- and 2-dimensional immunoblotting. The circulating antibodies turned out to be directed against several β- and γ-crystallin subunits. The types of subunits and the intensities of the responses varied considerably between patients. No or only occasional and very weak reactions were observed against the αA-, αB- and βB2-crystallin subunits. These are in fact the only crystallins at present known to occur outside the lens in mammals. Our findings thus indicate that anti-crystallin autoantibodies are specifically directed against those crystallins that appear to be lens-restricted, while immunological tolerance would exist for the extra-lenticularly occurring crystallins.

Key words

anti-crystallin autoantibodies autoimmune response cataract crystallin lens 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. B. Merck
    • 1
  • W. A. de Haard Hoekman
    • 1
  • J. R. M. Cruysberg
    • 2
  • H. Bloemendal
    • 1
  • W. W. de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of OpthalmologyUniveristy of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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