Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies: Immunobiological aspects

W. L. Gross*, E. Csernok, W. H. Schmitt

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
28 Zitate (Scopus)


Antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) specific for constituents of neutrophil primary granules and monocyte lysosomes have been demonstrated in various vasculitic disorders. The staining pattern in indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using alcohol-fixed neutrophils as substrate allows distinction among 3 types of ANCA: 1) classic anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (cANCA, formerly known as ACPA); 2) a type with a perinuclear/nuclear staining pattern produced when alcohol-fixed neutrophils are used as substrate (pANCA); and 3) a mixture of both of the above types (xANCA, also described recently as pANCA). Most cANCA are directed against proteinase 3 ("Wegener's autoantigen"). Some pANCA have specificity for myeloperoxidase and are associated with idiopathic crescentic glomerulonephritis ("renal vasculitis") and other systemic vasculitides exhibiting a paucity of immune deposits in blood vessels. In addition to being a useful serological marker, ANCA appear to be directly involved in the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis. ANCA can activate cytokine-primed granulocytes and monocytes to undergo a respiratory burst and degranulation. This effect leads to vasculitis through the attachment of these cells to the vascular endothelium primed by cytokine-induced expression of adhesion molecules (E-LAM 1) on the endothelium. Thus, the release of toxic oxygen radicals and lytic enzymes is capable of causing vascular damage. In the present paper we report on the main target antigens and on the history, nomenclature, laboratory methods, and ethiopathological implication of ANCA. Additional pathophysiological aspects of ANCA and/or autoreactive T cells and immmunoregulatory events are also discussed.

ZeitschriftKlinische Wochenschrift
Seiten (von - bis)558-566
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 09.1991

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)


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