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Keywords:

  • antibody;
  • idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis;
  • MRC5;
  • non-specific interstitial pneumonia;
  • vimentin

SUMMARY

It has been suggested that the humoral immune system plays a role in the pathogenesis of non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP). Although some circulating autoantibodies to cytoskeletal protein(s) have been suggested, the antimyofibroblast antibody has not been investigated in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and NSIP. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the existence of antimyofibroblast antibody in the sera of patients with IPF and NSIP. The MRC5 cell line was used as a model of myofibroblast. The anti-MRC5 cell antibody was characterized in a patient with NSIP using Western blotting. Since we found that one of the anti-MRC5 antibodies was an antivimentin antibody, we established an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure the levels of antivimentin antibody in the sera of patients with IPF (n = 12) and NSIP (n = 23). Initially, two anti-MRC5 cell antibodies were detected in the sera of patients with NSIP, one of which was characterized as the antivimentin antibody by Western blotting. The other was characterized as an antivimentin fragment antibody. We established an ELISA to measure the antivimentin antibody and found significantly higher levels in patients with IPF and NSIP than in normal volunteers. One of the anti-MRC5 cell antibodies in the serum of a patient with NSIP was against vimentin. The serum levels of antivimentin antibody were increased in patients with IPF and NSIP compared with that of normal volunteers. These results suggest that the antivimentin antibody may be involved in the process of lung injury in IPF and NSIP.