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Autoimmune Diagnostics

Indirect Immunofluorescence

The immunofluorescence test on frozen tissue sections is a proven method for screening autoantibodies. Usually, xenogenic1) organs (e.g. from rats) are used.

An immunofluorescence test on cell cultures (e.g. HEp-2 cells) identifies nuclear antigenic systems. However, this method often also detects unspecific stimulated nuclear antibodies (e.g. in case of an infection). It is thus necessary to carry out a second test for individual antibodies (ELISA or blot) to verify and confirm the results.

As a standard for routine diagnosis, parallel tests should be carried out on both tissue sections and HEp-2 cells, since some antibodies react differently in each of these systems.

PCNA antibodies on HEp2-cells
© Barbara Fabian, Österreich

PCNA-antibodies (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) on HEp2-cells. These autoantibodies have only low sensitivity but very high specificity for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

AMA on HEp2-cells
© Barbara Fabian, Österreich
AMA on cells from rat liver
© Barbara Fabian, Österreich
AMA on cells from rat kidney
© Barbara Fabian, Österreich
AMA on cells from rat stomach
© Barbara Fabian, Österreich

Anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) show a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of primary biliary cirrhosis.

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