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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Dec;82(24):8345-8.

Autoimmune anti-androgen-receptor antibodies in human serum.


Circulating autoantibodies to human and rat androgen receptors are present at high titers in the blood sera of some patients with prostate diseases. The antibodies from some serum samples were associated with a purified IgG fraction and interacted with the 3.8S cytosolic androgen-receptor complexes of rat ventral prostate to form 9- to 12S units. Other serum samples, however, formed 14- to 19S units, suggesting that other immunoglobulins might be involved. In the presence of an anti-human immunoglobulin as a second antibody, the androgen-receptor-antibody complexes could be immunoprecipitated. The antibodies interacted with the nuclear and the cytosolic androgen-receptor complexes, either the DNA-binding or the nonbinding form, but not with receptors for estradiol, progestin, or dexamethasone from a variety of sources. Human testosterone/estradiol-binding globulin, rat epididymal androgen-binding protein, or rat prostate alpha-protein (a nonreceptor steroid-binding protein) also did not interact with the antibodies to form immunoprecipitates. About 37% of male and 3% of female serum samples screened had significant antibody titer. The chance of finding serum with a high titer is much better in males older than 66 years than in the younger males or females at all ages. The presence of the high-titer antibodies may make it possible to prepare monoclonal antibodies to androgen receptors without purification of the receptors for immunization.

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