A patient with lepromatous leprosy and anticytoskeletal antibodies

Fayne L.P. Frey, Alice B. Gottlieb, William R. Levis

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3 Scopus citations


Sera from 34 patients with lepromatous leprosy were screened for the presence of autoantibodies by indirect immunofluorescence using two epithelial cell lines, PTK2 and HEp2, as substrates. Indirect immunofluorescence staining of both substrates with the serum of a patient with lepromatous leprosy revealed a cytoplasmic intermediate filament staining pattern. After exposure of PTK2 cells to colchicine, the filaments collapsed into thick perinuclear coils, confirming the presence of intermediate filament reactivity. Immunofluorescence of rat fibroblasts with the same serum also revealed an intermediate filamentous staining pattern. Human keratinocytes exposed to the patient's serum revealed a diffuse cytoplasmic staining pattern. Our study suggests the presence of autoantibodies to cytoskeletal intermediate filaments or to molecules associated with vimentin and possibly keratin subunit proteins in the serum of a patient with lepromatous leprosy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1184
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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