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Clin Exp Immunol. 1985 Feb;59(2):267-75.

Precipitable immune complexes in healthy homosexual men, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the related lymphadenopathy syndrome.


Increased levels of 3% PEG precipitable circulating immune complexes (CIC) were found in healthy homosexual men, in homosexual patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and in the AIDS related lymphadenopathy syndrome (LAS). The degree of CIC elevation increases from healthy homosexual men to LAS and AIDS. Patients suffering from AIDS associated with opportunistic infections had a more pronounced increase in CIC than patients with AIDS associated Kaposi's sarcoma. In LAS and AIDS the amount of CIC correlated with the degree of inversion of the T4/T8 lymphocyte ratio, whereas in healthy homosexual men with increased levels of CIC the T4/T8 ratio was not significantly altered. Laser nephelometric partial components analysis revealed that these complexes were of a complement poor subtype with low component levels of C4, C1q and C3c. IgM and IgG were found to be the major components. It is suggested that these CIC might represent a marker of the total antigenic burden of the immune system. Possibly, they are of prognostic and monitoring value for clinical handling of patients at risk for AIDS.

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