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Re-evaluation of eye muscle autoantibody determination in Graves' ophthalmopathy: failure to detect a specific antigen by use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indirect immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting techniques

Schifferdecker, E.; Ketzler-Sasse, U.; Boehm, B.O.; Ronsheimer, H.B.; Scherbaum, W.A.; Schöffling, K.

Acta Endocrinologica 121(5): 643-650

1989


ISSN/ISBN: 0001-5598
PMID: 2480047
DOI: 10.1530/acta.0.1210643
Accession: 041177313

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Sera from 41 patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy were investigated for presence of autoantibodies directed against eye muscle preparations using different methods: 1. ELISA with pork eye muscle membrane preparations; 2. Immunoblotting with glycoprotein preparations from human eye muscle; 3. Indirect immunofluorescence with human eye muscle sections. The ELISA was not suitable for detection of specific immunoglobulin binding with sera from patients suffering from endocrine ophthalmopathy. Immunoblotting exhibited only nonspecific binding to some muscle proteins; it could be prevented by pre-adsorption procedures and was not different from the pattern observed with skeletal muscle as antigen. The indirect immunofluorescence technique revealed no binding of Graves' sera to human muscle sections, whereas sera containing antibodies against skeletal muscle bound to eye muscle as well. Thus far, an antigenic structure of eye muscle specific for Graves' ophthalmopathy is not detectable with the methodology used here. The possibility that retroorbital connective tissue may be the main target of the autoimmune process must be considered.

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