We have identified a group of patients with an atypical retinal degeneration having anti-retinal autoantibodies in their sera. This select population is characterized by a progressively severe loss of vision associated with a decrease in photoreceptor function, abnormal pigmentation of the retinal pigment epithelium and a negative family history of retinal dystrophy. Immunohistochemical analysis on mouse retinal tissues with sera from this group of patients demonstrated high titers of anti-retinal antibodies (320 to 1280). Anti-retinal reactivity at these levels was not detected in sera from normal individuals, or from patients with uveitis or known genetic retinal degenerations. One antigen that was identified from a retina cDNA library with sera from a patient with atypical retinal degeneration was lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF). Western blot analysis revealed that sera from all three patients demonstrated reactivity to p75/LEDGF, a survival factor that protects cells from oxidative, thermal and UV damage. In conclusion, we have found a novel group of patients with a retinal degeneration of non-paraneoplastic, non-familial origin demonstrating immunoreactivity to an autoantigen, p75/LEDGF, heretofore not associated with this disease. Finally, identification of specific anti-retinal antibodies may have applications in the diagnosis and management of retinal degeneration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Autoimmunity|
|State||Published - Aug 2006|
- Retinal degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy