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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2012 Dec;107 Suppl 1:95-103.

Lepromatous leprosy patients produce antibodies that recognise non-bilayer lipid arrangements containing mycolic acids.

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  • 1Biochemistry Department , National School of Biological Sciences, National Polytechnic Institute, DF, Mexico. ibaeza@encb.ipn.mx

Abstract

Non-bilayer phospholipid arrangements are three-dimensional structures that form when anionic phospholipids with an intermediate structure of the tubular hexagonal phase II are present in a bilayer of lipids. Antibodies that recognise these arrangements have been described in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome and/or systemic lupus erythematosus and in those with preeclampsia; these antibodies have also been documented in an experimental murine model of lupus, in which they are associated with immunopathology. Here, we demonstrate the presence of antibodies against non-bilayer phospholipid arrangements containing mycolic acids in the sera of lepromatous leprosy (LL) patients, but not those of healthy volunteers. The presence of antibodies that recognise these non-bilayer lipid arrangements may contribute to the hypergammaglobulinaemia observed in LL patients. We also found IgM and IgG anti-cardiolipin antibodies in 77% of the patients. This positive correlation between the anti-mycolic-non-bilayer arrangements and anti-cardiolipin antibodies suggests that both types of antibodies are produced by a common mechanism, as was demonstrated in the experimental murine model of lupus, in which there was a correlation between the anti-non-bilayer phospholipid arrangements and anti-cardiolipin antibodies. Antibodies to non-bilayer lipid arrangements may represent a previously unrecognised pathogenic mechanism in LL and the detection of these antibodies may be a tool for the early diagnosis of LL patients.

PMID:
23283460
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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