Immune complexes in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Hodgson HJ., Potter BJ., Jewell DP.
Sera from 156 patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease were tested for the presence of immune complexes, by the detection of anti-complementary activity and 125I-labelled Clq precipitation. Using aggregated IgG, a comparison between the two tests indicated that the anti-complementary test was most sensitive to aggregates of 11S in size, while the 125I-labelled Clq test detected aggregates over 20S in size. Excess anti-complementary activity was common in patients with active bowel disease, and in those with extra-intestinal manifestations, particularly acute arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and liver disease. Large complexes were only common in patients with liver disease. Immune complexes in the gut mucosa may play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases, and the deposition of circulatory immune complexes may explain at least some of the extra-intestinal manifestations.