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Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Dec;118(3):458-64.

Effect of plasmapheresis on ligand binding capacity and expression of erythrocyte complement receptor type 1 (CR1) of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical School of Debrecen, Hungary.


The functional activity and the expression of CR1 on the erythrocytes (E) of patients with SLE were, respectively, determined by measuring the binding to E of either complement-opsonized bovine serum albumin (BSA)-anti-BSA immune complexes (ICC) or specific anti-ECR1 MoAbs. We found that both the functional activity and levels of ECR1 in SLE patients homozygous for ECR1 high density allele were significantly lowered compared with healthy controls having the same allele. Soon after plasmapheresis there was a significant increase in E ICC binding activity, and this increased functional activity was stable. Moreover, plasmapheresis reduced the level of immune complexes demonstrable in the circulation of the patients. The expression of ECR1 determined with several different anti-CR1 MoAbs was also elevated as a consequence of plasmapheresis. This elevation was observed for both MoAb 1B4, which competes for the ICC binding site of ECR1, and for MoAb HB8592, which does not, but the time course for the increase in binding of the two MoAbs was different, in that the epitope recognized by MoAb 1B4 increased more rapidly. The present results, considered in the context of previous findings, suggest that more than one mechanism may be operative with respect to the effects of the plasmapheresis in increasing ECR1 levels defined by different epitopes on the molecule.

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