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Prostatitis Foundation

Third International Chronic Prostatitis Network

Identification of high-titer autoantibodies to prostate-associated antigens in some patients with chronic abacterial prostatitis

R. Trammell, T. Jewett, D.E. Neal, E.J. Moticka, B. Wolters,
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Springfield, Illinois
Based on studies suggesting that the inflammation observed in some patients with chronic abacterial prostatitis may be due to autoimmune prostatitis, the goal of these studies was to determine if a sub-group of these patients had high-titered IgG auto-antibodies to prostate-associated proteins.
Using the recently developed strategy, SEREX (sero-logical analysis of antigens by recombinant expression cloning), we constructed a cDNA expression library from normal prostate tissue. Recombinant proteins were immunoscreened with patient and control sera. Clones reactive with high-titer IgG antibodies were subcloned and the nucleotide sequence of the insert cDNA determined.
We have currently immunoscreened the normal prostate cDNA expression library with the sera from four patients with chronic abacterial prostatitis. Twenty-seven positive clones, representing 5 different antigens, were identified with serum from a single chronic abacterial prostatitis patient, while two positive clones encoding a single antigen were identified with serum obtained from a second patient. Sera from the other two patients did not react with any of the expressed proteins. Four of these clones encoded sequences identical to previously characterized mole-cules. Clone 1 encoded a protein originally isolated from a 10-week whole embryo. The function and tissue expression of clone 1 is currently unknown. Three of the clones (clones 2-4) encoded ubiquitously expressed proteins. Interestingly, clone 5 encoded a protein known to be associated with other autoimmune states including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, and idiopathic myxedema (J Clin Endo Metab, 72, 1375 [1991]). All other sera, including that from normal individuals, were negative for reactivity to the protein encoded by clone 5. The protein was found to be highly expressed in normal human thyroid and extraocular muscle, but not skeletal muscle.
Our results demonstrate that high-titer IgG auto-antibodies to several prostate-associated antigens can be identified in some patients with chronic abacterial prostatitis. The identity of the protein encoded by clone 5 with a protein expressed in other autoimmune states suggests a possible autoimmune etiology for some cases of chronic abacterial prostatitis.
© 2002 The Prostatitis Foundation
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