One‐step fluorescein‐conjugated polyclonal antibody technique has shown that C‐reactive protein (CRP) was located only extracellularly in human atherosclerotic lesions. In this report a more sensitive streptavidin‐biotin technique was applied to detect the localization of CRP in human athere sclerotic lesions. lmmunohistochemical staining with polyclonal and monoclonal anti‐human CRP antibodies both produced a brown color extracellularly in the necrotic lesions, and intracelluarly in CD68+ foam cells. The latter suggests an uptake of CRP‐lipid complexes by macro‐phages. The staining is human CRP‐specific because it was eliminated by preabsorption of the monoclonal antibody with pure human CRP, or by substitution of the primary antibody with non‐immune rabbit serum. By overlaid CRP‐binding study, a positive stain was observed on intimal smooth muscle cells and foam cells, suggesting that they have CRP‐binding sites unless the CRP‐binding activity was generated de novo through the fixation procedure. Accordingly, it is hypothesized that CRP may facilitate the uptake of lipids by macrophages accumulating in atherosclerotic lesions. Further, CRP might participate in cytolysis, which enlarges the necrotic area, and/or in phagocytosis that scavenges the necrotic tissue.
Pathology International – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1995
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