May 12, 1983

Cellular sensitivity to collagen in thromboangiitis obliterans

The New England Journal of Medicine
R AdarE Mozes


We studied 39 patients with thromboangiitis obliterans to determine their cellular and humoral immune responses to native human collagen Type I and Type III, which are constituents of blood vessels. Cell-mediated sensitivity to these collagens was measured by an antigen-sensitive thymidine-incorporation assay. The mean stimulation index--the ratio of thymidine incorporation in the presence of antigen to that in its absence--with both Type I and Type III collagens used as antigens was significantly higher in patients with thromboangiitis obliterans than in patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans or in healthy male controls. Lymphocytes from 77 per cent of the patients with thromboangiitis obliterans exhibited cellular sensitivity to human Type I or Type III collagens (or both). Furthermore, in 17 of 39 serum samples from the patients with thromboangiitis obliterans a low but significant level of anticollagen antibody activity was detected, whereas there was no antibody activity in serum samples from controls. These results suggest that there is a distinct etiologic factor in this disease and also raise the possibility of differentiating between thromboangiitis obliterans and arteriosclerosis obliterans by immunologic means.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Lymphocytes as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Collagen Diseases
Blood Vessel
Antibody Formation
Lymphocyte Activation
Autoimmune Diseases

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