Author(s): MarzocchiMachado CM, Alves CM, Azzolini AE, Polizello AC, Carvalho IF,
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Abstract Hypocomplementaemia and low expression of CR1 on erythrocytes (E) of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are associated with defective clearance of circulating immune complexes (IC) and so they may have pathogenic significance. Here, we investigated whether the reduced CR1/E in SLE patients per se might affect the binding of IC to CR1/E. First, we analysed the expression of CR1 on E of active (n=30) and inactive (n=34) SLE patients using a FITC-conjugated mouse anti-CR1 monoclonal antibody E11 and flow cytometry. Both groups of patients had a significantly reduced CR1/E expression compared with healthy controls (n=40). It was also observed that the number of E bearing CR1 was reduced in both groups of SLE patients studied. Second, we determined the functional activity of CR1/E by measuring the binding to E of FITC-bovine serum albumin (BSA)/rabbit anti-BSA complexes, formed at equivalence, which were opsonized with complement from normal human serum (NHS). On the other hand, we did not find differences between the patient and control groups in the ability of E to bind IC/NHS. There was also a positive correlation between the CR1/E expression and the number of E bearing CR1 in control and inactive SLE groups, which was not observed in the group of active SLE patients. Considering the involvement of low levels of complement and CR1/E expression on complex processing, in this in vitro model the results show that an effective coating of the complexes with complement is sufficient to bind them preferentially to CR1 over normal levels of receptor expression.
This article was published in J Autoimmun
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis