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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2000 Nov-Dec;18(6):707-12.

Contribution of immunofluorescence to the identification and characterization of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies. The role of different fixatives.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology and Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the sera from selected groups of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) positive patients by means of the indirect immunofluorescence test (ANCA-IIF) with different fixatives, in order to better discriminate among the various ANCAs (Ag-specificity and disease associations), especially those for which the antigen targets have not yet been identified.

METHODS:

Eighty pathological serum samples and 15 normal sera were evaluated. Pathological samples included sera from 30 ulcerative colitis (UC) ANCA positive patients, 30 P-ANCA/myeloperoxidase (MPO-ANCA) positive microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) patients, 10 C-ANCA/proteinase 3 (PR3-ANCA) positive Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) patients, and 10 antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive (ANCA negative) systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. ANCA were detected by IIF on ethanol, methanol and formalin-fixed granulocytes and by ELISAs specific for MPO, PR3, lactoferrin (LF) and bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI). Additionally, sera were tested for the presence of antinuclear antibodies on IIF.

RESULTS:

96% of serum samples from UC patients, positive by IIF on ethanol-fixed granulocytes, became negative when tested on formalin-fixed neutrophil slides. On the contrary, 95% of sera from vasculitic patients showed a clear diffuse granular cytoplasmic pattern on the same substrate; sera from all 10 SLE patients did not show any reactivity when formalin was used as fixative. On methanol-fixed neutrophils, 100% of UC P-ANCA positive sera were positive with the same pattern versus only 20% of vasculitic P-ANCA positive (MPO positive). Methanol fixation had no effect on PR3-ANCA and ANA positive sera.

CONCLUSION:

The comparison of IIF patterns of sera tested on different fixed cells may be useful to distinguish vasculitis-related P-ANCA versus ANA and vasculitis-related P-ANCA versus UC-related P-ANCA.

PMID:
11138332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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