Abnormalities of Oral Tolerance in NZB/W Female Mice: Relationship of Antibodies to Dietary Antigens in Human Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
We have found a significant increase in antibodies to bovine gamma globulin (BGG) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (1). Conversely, their levels of antibodies to ovalbumin (OVA) are within the normal range (Table 1). Since both BGG and OVA are commonly ingested antigens, it was of interest to assess the levels of antibodies to bovine casein, an antigen which is the predominant protein of milk, and therefore is also a commonly ingested antigen. We discovered that SLE patients have a significant increase in anti-casein antibodies (Table 1). Thus, although they have normal levels of antibody to one dietary antigen they have high levels to two others. In view of the phenomenon of oral tolerance (reviewed in 2), which presumably would suppress the development of excess circulating antibodies directed against dietary antigens, these findings raised the possibility that an antigen specific failure of oral tolerance might occur in SLE. We decided to begin our assessment of the likelihood of defective oral tolerance in SLE by studying the responses of NZB/W mice, one of several murine models of SLE (3).
KeywordsSystemic Lupus Erythematosus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patient Oral Tolerance Normal Seron Human Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
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