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May 1994

Detection of Blood Group Differences in Human Corneal Epithelium Using a Monoclonal Antibody and Lectins

Author Affiliations

From the Cornea Unit, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Mass, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(5):667-673. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090170111032

Objective:  To determine if blood group variation in corneal epithelial glycoconjugates can be detected with the use of a monoclonal antibody and sugar-specific lectins.

Methods:  Monoclonal antibodies were developed to isolated corneal epithelial cells using conventional hybridoma techniques. Hybridoma screening and studies of antibody binding to cryostat sections of human corneas of blood groups A, B, and O were performed with immunofluorescence microscopy. Correlation of lectin binding to antibody and blood group binding was done immunohistochemically with lectins conjugated to fluorochromes.

Results:  Monoclonal antibody designated 1B3.29.36 binds to corneal epithelium of humans of blood group A only. The epitope of the antibody appears to be, in part, N-acetylgalactosamine. The lectins Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA), Griffonia simplicifolia lectin-I isolectin-B4 (GSL-IB4), and Ulex europeus agglutinin-I (UEA-I) bind to epithelium of subjects with blood groups A, B, and O, respectively, and soybean agglutinin binds to all three groups.

Conclusion:  Variations in corneal epithelium of subjects with different blood groups can be detected with the use of a monoclonal antibody and the lectins DBA, GSL-IB4, and UEA-I. Previous reports of lectin binding to ocular surface epithelium should be reevaluated since they did not take into account blood-group-specific binding.

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