The carbohydrate composition of IgG purified from serum of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pregnant women, and blood donors has been determined by gas-liquid chromatography. Comparison of the results indicates that IgG from patients with RA contains significantly less galactose but more N-acetylglucosamine than normal IgG, whereas the fucose and sialic acid contents are not changed. The carbohydrate content of IgG in RA is reduced. IgG in pregnancy contains more galactose and more sialic acid than normal IgG, whereas fucose, N-acetylglucosamine, and the total carbohydrate content are not changed. These data suggest a temporal compensation of the RA associated undergalactosylation of IgG in female patients with RA during pregnancy, a period during which remission of the disease is often observed.
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