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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.


Journal article


Clinical and experimental immunology

Publication Date





187 - 196


Humans, Arthritis, Colitis, Ulcerative, Crohn Disease, Liver Diseases, Immunoglobulin G, Antigen-Antibody Complex, Complement C1 Inactivator Proteins