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Fluorescence patterns of cytoplasmic autoantigens

Autoantibodies recognizing cytoskeleton related antigens


Cytoskeletons are comprised of three kinds of fibrous proteins; microfilaments (5 to 6 nm in diameter), intermediate filaments (10 nm) and microtubules (25 nm). The microfilaments consist of actin and various binding proteins. The intermediate filaments in HEp-2 cells comprise cytokeratin and vimentin. The microtubules consist of tubulins and organize the cell division apparatus.


Anti-actin antibody


photo 59

photo 60
Staining using rodent kidney and stomach sections as substrates.
The vascular walls and the basement membrane of the glomeruli are stained and the muscular layer and muscularis mucosae of the stomach are stained.



Pattern Microfilaments are stained throughout the cytoplasm.
Antigen Actin
Other analytical methods IF, ELISA
Clinical significance These antibodies occur in patients with AIH.
References 69, 70

The autoantibodies to actin binding proteins, tropomyosin and vinculin give similar fluorescence to those given by anti-actin antibodies. [References 1]

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>Anti-cytokeratin antibody


photo 61

Pattern Reticular cytoplasmic staining (weak to intense fluorescence depending on the cells) and granular staining in mitotic cells are seen.
Antigen Cytokeratin (40 to 52kD intermediate filament)
Other analytical methods WB
Clinical significance These antibodies are frequently observed in patients with RA and also occur in other diseases. The presence of antibodies in early RA patients with negative rheumatoid factor was reported.
References 71

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Anti-vimentin antibody


photo 62

photo 63
Staining using rodent kidney and stomach sections as substrates.
The vascular wall of kidney and stomach mucous membrane are stained, but it is different from the staining produced by anti-actin antibodies.

Pattern Cobweb-like cytoplasmic staining with denser perinuclear staining.
Antigen Vimentin (53kD intermediate filament)
Other analytical methods WB
Clinical significance The antibodies occur in patients with RA, liver diseases and chronic fatigue syndrome.
References 48, 72

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SLE: systemic lupus erythematosus, SSc: systemic sclerosis, MCTD: mixed connective tissue disease, SS: Sjögren's syndrome, PM/DM: polymyositis/dermatomyositis, RA: rheumatoid arthritis, PBC: primary biliary cirrhosis, AIH: autoimmune hepatitis


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