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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1987 Jun;43(3):395-402.

Detection of bovine serum albumin in the circulating IgA immune complexes of patients with IgA nephropathy.


Alimentary antigenic challenge has been postulated to have a role in the genesis of IgA circulating immune complexes (CIC), resulting in mesangial IgA disease. In this study, we examined the relationship between bovine serum albumin (BSA) and IgA CIC in patients with IgA nephropathy. Of the 47 patients studied, elevated IgA CIC levels were found in 32% by the F(ab')2 anti-C3 and Raji cell enzyme immunoassays (EIA). Elevated IgA anti-BSA antibody levels were found in 9 patients, and there was a positive correlation between these levels and IgA CIC as measured in the Raji cell EIA (R = 0.60, P less than 0.001). In 4 patients with elevation of both IgA CIC and IgA anti-BSA antibody levels, solubilization experiments were done to demonstrate the presence of BSA antigen in the IgA CIC. Using the Raji cell EIA, the IgA CIC levels decreased significantly after preincubating the sera with serial concentrations of excess BSA. No corresponding effect was seen with human serum albumin used as control. Hence, BSA may be the antigenic stimulus in the formation of IgA CIC in selected patients with IgA nephropathy. The pathogenic capacity of these IgA-BSA CIC remains to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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