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Antigen-free control wells in an ELISA set-up for the determination of autoantibodies against G protein-coupled receptors—a requisite for correct data evaluation

Haberland, Annekathrin, Müller, Johannes, Wallukat, Gerd, Wenzel, Katrin
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.21 pp. 5101-5105
artificial membranes, autoantibodies, beta-2 adrenergic receptors, bioassays, diagnostic techniques, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, epitopes, neutralization, patients
First functional acting autoantibodies against G protein-coupled receptors such as the beta2-adrenoceptor in e.g. asthmatic patients have already been discovered in the early 1980s of the last century using assays that show their functional activity. Today, almost 40 years later, the measurement of such autoantibodies is still a challenge. Bioassays able to show the functional activity of such autoantibodies against G protein-coupled receptors are still the ne plus ultra for their detection and also classification when additionally exploiting specific receptor blockers for the neutralisation of the effect. Bioassays based on living cells make specific demands on the laboratories and are, therefore not suitable for every routine laboratory. Routine diagnostics, therefore, ideally requires different assays based on e.g. solid-phase technology, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technology. Here, endeavours are going on, using either the exact epitopes of such autoantibodies, if known, for trapping the autoantibodies, or the complete receptor in biological or artificial membranes that are immobilised onto a plastic carrier (ELISA principle). Here, we question and discuss the outcome of such tests, especially, if no controls such as the non-coated plastic carrier or the corresponding receptor-free membrane coat is offered as control in parallel, in light of the manifold experiences already collected with even non-agonistic acting autoantibodies by Güven et al. (J Immunol Methods 403:26–36, 2014).