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Lack of serum antibodies to membrane bound carbonic anhydrase IV in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis
  1. P Invernizzi,
  2. C Selmi,
  3. M Zuin,
  4. M Podda
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, San Paolo School of Medicine, University of Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P Invernizzi
    Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Surgery, and Dentistry, San Paolo School of Medicine, University of Milan, Via di Rudinì 8, 20142 Milano, Italy;

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Nishimori et al have recently reported the presence of autoantibodies against carbonic anhydrase IV (anti-CA IV) in patients with autoimmune pancreatitis (Gut 2005;54:274–81). Furthermore, serum antibodies to CA II (anti-CA II) were observed in several autoimmune conditions. We have now investigated the presence of anti-CA IV and anti-CA II in a large series of sera from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and controls.

CA II is known to be expressed in the cytosol of various types of epithelial cells, including those lining bile ducts, renal tubules, and salivary ducts. For this reason, CA II was suggested as a common antigen in conditions characterised by an autoimmune aggression against epithelia. In autoimmune pancreatitis, serum anti-CA II are useful diagnostic tools while …

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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

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