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Arthritis Rheum. 1989 Sep;32(9):1119-27.

Serum IgG antibodies to C1q in hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome.

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Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.


Urticaria, angioedema, and arthritis are cardinal features of hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome (HUVS). Considered to be an immune complex-mediated disorder, HUVS has been differentiated from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), based on its clinical manifestations and the C1q precipitin (C1q-p) reaction, which is manifested as gel precipitation of C1q by a small percentage of HUVS IgG molecules. This phenomenon has been attributed to an Fc region abnormality, and the responsible IgG molecules are said to possess C1q-p activity. We purified IgG from 4 HUVS patients and confirmed that HUVS IgG contains C1q binding activity. F(ab')2 fragments from these patients also bound to C1q, as measured by 2 different C1q binding methods at physiologic ionic strength; HUVS IgG Fc fragments did not bind to C1q. Preincubation of HUVS F(ab')2 fragments with antibody to human F(ab')2 prevented subsequent binding to C1q. We conclude that IgG antibodies to C1q are present in HUVS serum, and it is likely that these antibodies are C1q-p. Because the clinical manifestations of HUVS and the presence of anti-C1q antibodies have been described in patients with SLE, our findings support the concept that HUVS is an autoimmune syndrome related to SLE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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