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Detection of immunoglobulins G and A on the cell membrane of hepatocytes from patients with alcoholic liver disease.
  1. A Trevisan,
  2. R Cavigli,
  3. R Meliconi,
  4. G F Stefanini,
  5. S Zotti,
  6. M Rugge,
  7. F Noventa,
  8. C Betterle,
  9. G Realdi


    The presence of immunoglobulins (Ig) G, A, and M and of complement fractions (C3-C4) on the liver cell surface was investigated by direct immunofluorescence in 40 patients with alcoholic liver disease. IgG was detected on the liver cell membrane with a linear staining pattern in 29 patients. The percentage of IgG-positive hepatocytes correlated with transaminase activities, independently of the histological findings. IgA was demonstrable with a coarse granular staining pattern in 11 of the 14 cases with established cirrhosis. The finding of IgG bound to the hepatocyte surface in patients with alcohol-induced liver damage suggests that alcohol could be responsible for antigenic modifications of hepatocyte membrane with consequent triggering of a humoral immune response.

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