Evidence for a light chain restriction of glycoprotein Ib/IX and Ilb/IIIa reactive antibodies in chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)


Dr Hans Wadenvik, Section of Haematology. Dpartment of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Hospital, S-41345 Goteborg. Sweden.


To address the assumption of clonally restricted antibodies in immune thrombocytopenias we studied sera from 19 patients with chronic ITP known to possess antibodies reactive with glycoprotein (GP) Ib/IX and/or GPIIb/IIIa. These sera were re-analysed using the standard monoclonal antibody immobilization of platelet antigens (MAIPA) assay and 16 patients exhibited IgG antibodies reactive with GPIIb/IIIa; seven patients showed also a reactivity with GPIb/IX. Employing a light-chain-specific MAIPA assay, 75% (12/16) of these sera displayed GPHb/ Ilia-specific antibodies that were light chain restricted; only 13% (2/16) of the GPIIb/IHa reactive sera showed a mixed kappa and lambda phenotype. A light-chain-restricted phenotype was also seen for the GPIb/IX reactive antibodies. To further substantiate these findings, the MAIPA assay was modified in order to avoid interference from human anti-mouse antibodies. A high frequency of light-chain restricted platelet antibodies was also found using the modified MAIPA technique. These results support the hypothesis of a clonal B-cell expansion in immune thrombocytopenias, producing antibodies with a restricted idiotype repertoire and reacting with a limited number of epitopes.