Circulating immune complexes (CIC) were isolated from patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and healthy blood donors by isopycnic ultracentrifugation in sucrose gradients. The CIC were analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting. The major components of the CIC were identified as albumin, immunoglobulins, and complement factors. A 70 kD component and several low molecular weight components (Mr 19 kD and 14 kD (doublet] were detectable only in CIC from patients with AS. An antiserum raised against the envelope glycoprotein, gp70, of a psoriasis associated retrovirus-like particle was applied to check for cross reacting activity. This antiserum reacted with both a 70 kD and a 40-45 kD component in CIC from three out of six patients but not with CIC from any of the blood donors.
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