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OBJECTIVE: Rheumatic fever (RF) and the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are autoimmune diseases that share similar cardiac and neurological pathologies. We assessed the presence of shared epitopes between M protein, N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) and beta2 glycoprotein-I (beta2GPI), the pathogenic molecules engaged in these autoimmune conditions. METHODS: Sera from the APS patients were affinity-purified on beta2GPI and beta2GPI-related peptide columns. Sera from RF patients were affinity-purified on protein G column. The beta2GPI and M protein-related peptides were prepared by conventional solid-phase peptide synthesis. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay direct binding and inhibition studies were performed on the RF and APS sera for the presence, and cross-reactivity, of antibodies against beta2GPI, beta2GPI-related peptides, streptococcal M protein, M-derived peptides and GlcNAc. RESULTS: Antibodies (Abs) to beta2GPI were found in 24.4% of 90 RF patients. Antibodies against various beta2GPI-related peptides were found in 1.1-36.7% of the patients. The immunoglobulin G sera from RF patients possessed significant anti-beta2GPI activity, while sera from APS patients contained a considerable anti-streptococcal M protein as well as anti-GlcNAc activity. Furthermore, affinity-purified anti-beta2GPI and anti-beta2GPI-related peptide Abs from APS patients cross-reacted with streptococcal M protein and M5 peptide, while beta2GPI and beta2GPI-related peptides inhibited anti-streptococcal M protein activity from RF patients. The results were confirmed by immunoblot analyses. The beta2GPI also inhibited anti-GlcNAc activity from APS patients with chorea. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study, showing a considerable overlap of humoral immunity in RF and APS, support a hypothesis that common pathogenic mechanisms underlie the development of cardiac valve lesions and Central Nervous System abnormalities in both diseases.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/rheumatology/kel118

Type

Journal article

Journal

Rheumatology (Oxford)

Publication Date

07/2006

Volume

45

Pages

833 - 841

Keywords

Acetylglucosamine, Adolescent, Adult, Antibody Specificity, Antigens, Bacterial, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, Autoimmune Diseases, Autoimmunity, Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Binding, Competitive, Blotting, Western, Carrier Proteins, Cross Reactions, Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic, Female, Glycoproteins, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Rheumatic Fever, beta 2-Glycoprotein I