A method for retracing the putative antigen/antibody ratio of immune complexes in biological fluids

S. Bombardieri, A. Puccetti, A. Pilo

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It is well known that immune complex (ICs) diseases are caused by a number of factors which influence the localization, clearance and inflammatory potential of ICs. Several studies suggest that the Ag/Ab ratio is one of the most important of these. Previous studies have clarified the IC detection methods which differ, either in their recognition unit or in the phase used (solid or liquid), show a very poor correlation with each other. This study was developed in order to verify the hypothesis that different methods recognise different kinds of ICs on the basis of their Ag/Ab ratio. We used 3 homogeneous EIAs employing a probe complex enzyme - anti enzyme which competes with circulating ICs for the recognition unit (bovine conglutinin, C1q or monoclonal rheumatoid factor) to detect 10 unrelated in vitro-made ICs at different relative Ag/Ab concentrations (from 8 x Ag excess to 8 x Ab excess). We demonstrated that the 3 recognition units recognised the ICs principally on the basis of their Ag/Ab ratio. These results were then used to set up a mathematical model capable of retracing the Ag/Ab ratio of the ICs present in unknown samples. This was employed to test a panel of sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, essential mixed cryoglobulinemia and rheumatoid arthritis; we obtained very suggestive results but they require further prospective studies to understand the full significance of this parameter.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology


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