In 13 women affected by progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) the activation state of circulating B lymphocytes by use of monoclonal antibodies and the in vitro IgG, IgA, IgM synthesis by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultured with or without pokeweed-mitogen (PWM) were evaluated. The total and ''activated'' B lymphocytes were increased. The supernatants of PBMC cultured without PWM contained increased IgG and IgA levels; only in two patients, however, were IgM levels increased. The addition of PWM augmented IgG and IgA levels only in three cases and never IgM levels. Our results indicate that the polyclonal hyperactivity of B lymphocytes is a major immunologic feature in PSS patients. The lack of increase of in vitro immunoglobulin synthesis in the presence of PWM suggests either that B lymphocytes, already maximally activated in vivo, are unresponsive to further mitogen stimulation or that a more complex imbalance of B lymphocyte responsiveness to PWM may exist.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
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