Studies on vasculitis

I. Immunoglobulins, β1C, C-reactive protein, and bacterial antigens in cutaneous vasculitis lesions


Dr W. E. Parish, Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, Elstree, Herts.


The lesions of several cutaneous vascular diseases, examined by immunofluorescence, contained γG, γA, γM and β1C globulins. Acetone-fixed sections of some lesions contained C-reactive protein. Antigens of streptococci, Candida, Mycobacteriwn tuberculosis and staphylococci were also found, sometimes combined with IgG indicating the formation of bacterial antigen-antibody complexes. There was indirect evidence of the formation of complexes in vivo in that the patients had rheumatoid and anti-IgG factors and immunoconglutinin in their sera more frequently than normal persons.

It has not been established that cutaneous vasculitis is induced by complexes. Antibody in the patient's sera rarely combined with bacterial antigen in the lesions, and in only one instance was IgG in the lesions demonstrated to be antibacterial antigen, though these tests were severely impaired by technical difficulties. The globulin and bacterial antigen may have been deposited fortuitously and harmlessly.