Research Article| Volume 69, ISSUE 6, P979-988, June 1967

Antibodies to cytoplasmic antigens in primary biliary cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis

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      Antibodies to cytoplasmic antigens were observed with the fluorescent antibody technique in 79 per cent of 53 sera from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, in 12 of 15 sera from patients with chronic active hepatitis, in 3 sera from patients with drug hepatitis, in 1 patient with cholestatic viral hepatitis, and in 1 patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. The cytoplasmic antibodies lack organ or species specificity and are best detected with unfixed sections of stomach, submaxillary gland of the rhesus monkey, and hyperactive thyroid. These antibodies are complement fixing, variously distributed in all immunoglobulin fractions and are adsorbed by the more particulated subcellular fractions of liver. They do not correlate with the antibodies detected serologically by the complement fixation text, which are directed against all subcellular fractions of liver. These antibodies to cytoplasmic antigens seem significant in the diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis and chronic active hepatitis, and together with the other immunologic alterations observed in these diseases, point to a complex alteration of the immune system.
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