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April 1964

Fluorescent Antibody Studies of Certain Dermatoses

Author Affiliations


Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine,

Division of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(4):569-578. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590280069014

The fluorescent antibody technique was used to investigate the possible role of autoimmune factors in certain dermatoses. Serum, sections of cutaneous lesions, and specimens of uninvolved skin were studied. Control procedures, sera, and tissues were involved in the investigation.

Specific antigen-antibody reaction was not detected in the skin of patients who had one of the following conditions: psoriasis, erythema multiforme bullosum, pemphigus vulgaris, and dermatitis herpetiformis. Antibodies for calf thymus nucleohistone extract (NHE) were detected in serum of two patients who had both psoriasis and arthropathy and another patient who had had severe cutaneous manifestations of psoriasis for 17 years. The significance of the presence of the antibody was postulated.

Non-species-specific antinuclear antibodies were detected in sera of patients who had discoid lupus erythematosus. Specific yellow-green fluorescence was observed when the immune substance reacted with human epidermal cell nuclei and calf thymus nucleohistone extract. The conceivable importance of autoimmune factors in the pathogenesis of discoid lupus erythematosus was discussed.

Antinuclear antibody was demonstrated in the serum of patients who had scleroderma. Tissue specificity was not noted with the technique employed.

The results of this study further support the concept that an autoimmune reaction may be a factor in the development of enlarging annular lesions (erythema annulare centrifugum).

A correlation could not be made between the presence of serum antinuclear antibodies, as determined by the fluorescent antibody technique, and abnormal serum protein fractions detected by electrophoresis.

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