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S.C. Joachim, F.H. Grus, N. Pfeiffer; Autoantibodies in Patients with Glaucoma: A Comparison of IgG Serum Antibodies against Retinal, Optic Nerve, and Optic Nerve Head Antigen . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4358.
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Purpose: Glaucoma is the second cause of blindness worldwide. There is evidence that an autoimmune mechanism is involved in the development of glaucoma in several patients. The aim of this study was to compare the autoantibody repertoires against different antigens (retina, optic nerve, and optic nerve head) in sera of glaucoma patients and healthy subjects. Methods: A total of 82 patients were divided into four groups: healthy volunteers without any ocular disorders (CO, n=30), patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG, n=19), ocular hypertension (OHT, n=16), and normal tension glaucoma (NTG, n=17). The sera of patients were tested against Western blots of retinal, optic nerve, and optic nerve head antigens. Immunodetection was performed by using 4-chloro-1-naphthol staining. The IgG autoantibody patterns were digitized and subsequently analyzed by multivariate statistical techniques. Results: All patients showed complex patterns of autoantibodies against retinal, optic nerve, and optic nerve head antigens. The analysis of discriminance revealed a statistical significant difference between the patterns of all groups. Our multivariate approach could quantify the differences in immunoreactivities of patient sera against the different antigens. The POAG group had the most significant difference against retinal antigen (P=0.0021) compared to the other antigens. In the NTG group the highest reactivity appeared against optic nerve head (P=0.00053) and optic nerve (P=0.0025). The OHT group revealed only a slight difference in the reactivity against the three antigens compared to healthy control subjects. Conclusions: In this study we could demonstrate that all groups show different autoantibody patterns against the three ocular antigens. These autoantibodies are highly specific for each patient group. Thus, further analysis of autoantibody pattern could provide important information to learn more about the role of autoimmune mechanisms in the pathogenesis of both POAG and NTG.
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