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New ELISA Kits using C3 Binding Glycoprotein from Cuscuta europea Detect Mainly IgM CIC in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Progressive Systemic Sclerosis, but not in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Elevated levels of circulating immune complexes (CIC), containing IgG, IgM or IgA antibodies were detected in the sera of patients with autoimmune diseases. This might indicate a different biological meaning of the three isotypes of immunoglobulin (Ig) in the CIC. Each CIC assay detected only certain classes and subclasses of Ig in CIC material or fixed complement protein. In this study, a new method based on C3binding glycoprotein named CIF-ELISA and a well-known method ANTI-C3 ELISA, were used for quantitative assessment of IgM-CIC, IgG-CIC and IgA-CIC levels in human sera. A modified CIF-ELISA and ANTI-C3 ELISA for simultaneous detection of CIC, containing IgG, IgM and IgA, (stCIC), were also performed. The assays were evaluated on the same specially prepared samples: 55 normal sera, 99 sera from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 88 sera from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and 27 sera from progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS). We found that the sensitivity of the tests used varied depending on the diseases studied. CIF-ELISA displayed higher sensitivity of IgM-CIC when compared to ANTI-C3 ELISA in RA patients (40.0 and 20.95%, respectively) and PSS (44.43 and 37.04%, respectively). Results for the sensitivity of IgA-CIC were in adverse direction in the RA group (14.28 and 19.05%) and PSS (14.81 and 25.93%) by both methods. It was also established that the concordance of IgM-CIC positives by both methods was 48.84% in RA and 46.67% in PSS, while in SLE it was 18.78%. These results are most probably due to the different assay abilities to detect antibody isotype of the CIC material and help to explain what specific role each Ig isotype in CIC has in the course of the disease.

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