Comparative epitope mapping of antibodies to collagen in women with silicone breast implants, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis

M. J. Rowley, A. D. Cook, I. R. Mackay, Suzanne S Teuber, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Previous work has shown that women with silicone gel breast implants have an increased frequency of autoantibodies to collagen types I and II. 70 women without a specific autoimmune disease, using criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, but who had silicone breast implants were studied for the presence of serum antibodies to native and denatured human types I and II collagen by ELISA. 82 women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 94 women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 133 healthy controls were also studied. There was a high frequency of autoantibodies to collagen in each of the groups when compared to the healthy controls. The specificities of these antibodies were found to differ markedly when examined by immunoblotting using peptides deriverd by cyanogen bromide digestion of the collagens. Sera from women with silicone implants reacted with multiple peptides of type I collagen in an individual-specific manner, but sera from women with SLE or RA reacted weakly with a restricted range of peptides. Against type II collagen, sera from women with RA reacted strongly with multiple peptides, while sera from women with silicone implants or SLE reacted only weakly or not at all. The patterns of reactivity against collegens by sera from women with silicone implants suggest that silicone can act as an adjuvant to enhance the immunogenicity of type I collagen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
StatePublished - 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology

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