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S Otani, T Sakurai, M Takeuchi, Y Goto, T Fujita, M Usui, Y Kawakami; IgG Response Against Melanocyte-specific Antigen in Patients With Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1527.
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Purpose: Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease is an idiopathic systemic disorder affecting organs including the uvea where melanocytes are abundantly contained. Previous evidences suggest that development of VKH disease involves an autoimmune process directed against autoantigens associated with melanocytes. In this study, we examined whether IgG antibodies against melanocyte- or melanoma-associated antigens exist in sera of VKH patients. Methods: Sera obtained from 26 VKH patients and 30 healthy donors were evaluated for presence of IgG antibodies against various melanoma antigens including KU-MEL-1 that was a recently isolated melanoma antigen by the SEREX (serological analysis of recombinant cDNA expression libraries) method and preferentially expressed in melanocytes and melanoma cells. The KU-MEL-1 protein was expressed in E.Coli infected with lambda phases containing the full ORF of KU-MEL-1 and transferred to nitrocellulose membranes. Other melanoma antigens were also expressed. The membranes were incubated with sera for 4 h, and then with alkaline phosphatase-conjugated, goat anti-human IgG Fc for 1 hr. Nitro blue tetrazolium and 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl phosphate were used for the enzymatic detection. Results: Fifteen of 26 sera obtained from the VKH patients contained IgG specific for KU-MEL-1, while none of sera from healthy individuals did not. Sera from VKH patients didn't react to melanoma antigens including tyrosinase, NY-MEL-1, NY-ESO-1, and SART-1. Significant correlation was not so far observed between the presence of anti-KU-MEL-1 antibody and the evaluated clinical features in the VKH patients. Conclusion: IgG response against KU-MEL-1 that was an intracellular molecule preferentially expressed in melanocytes and melanoma was frequently detected in the patients with VKH disease, suggesting possibly role of CD4+ T cell response against KU-MEL-1 in autoimmune nature of VKH disease.
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