Abstract

We characterized neutrophil autoantigens using an immunoblotting technique with antibodies obtained from patients with autoimmune neutropenia. These results were correlated with serologic characterization of the antibodies, using indirect immunofluorescence and leukoagglutination. Of the 17 sera immunoblotted, 16 showed discrete bands in the molecular weight range of 30 to 112. Three patients with Felty's syndrome reacted with an antigenic target of 80 to 84 Kd molecular mass, a finding not seen in any of the other patients studied. By serologic testing, none of the autoimmune sera showed serologic specificity for any known neutrophil-specific alloantigen. Using an anti-NA-1 serum, we identified antigenic targets at 40, 50, and 101 Kd in both NA-1-positive and NA-1-negative neutrophils. Ten of 17 autoimmune sera showed reactivity in this corresponding range. These studies demonstrate that immunoblotting may be used to identify antigenic targets in autoimmune neutropenia and may suggest a specificity of these antibodies not definable by serologic techniques. Correlation of immunoblot reactivity with disease states associated with immune neutropenia may be useful in the study of the pathogenesis of the different forms of autoimmune neutropenia.

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