Serum antibodies against βH-crystallins in the American Cocker Spaniel




To detect antibodies for lens βH-crystallins in the serum from the American Cocker Spaniel (ACS) presenting with and without cataracts and with and without uveitis.

Animal Studied

Seventy-three American Cocker Spaniels and six normal Beagles.


Sera were collected from 73 ACSs, including those with normal lenses and those with cataracts, or uveitis. Fractionated, normal Beagle lens βH-crystallins were separated by one- or two-dimensional electrophoresis. The separated lens βH-crystallins were used on immunoblots as sentinel substrates against which the ACS sera were tested for the presence of antibodies against βH-crystallins.


Sera from approximately two-thirds of study animals contained antibodies to some βH-crystallin polypeptides, but reactivity varied among patients. Contrary to some hypotheses, serum antibodies to groups of βH-crystallins did not relate to the stages of cataract. However, detailed analysis by two-dimensional immunoblotting and mass spectrometry showed that three spots originating from βA1-crystallin were detected only in sera from cataract patients.


Serum antibodies to βA1-crystallin may be associated with the development of cataract.