Precipitation Reaction between Serum and Lysed Erythrocytes


HUMAN serum reacts with hæmolysates of human erythrocytes to form a precipitate ; this occurs even with the isologous hæmolysate. When the hæmolysate is added to serum in tubes at 37° C., precipitation continues for several days. In agar-gel, using a double diffusion technique, a well-marked precipitate band is formed (Fig. 1). Peetoom et al. 1 described a precipitate of this type in agar-gel, but only minimal precipitation in fluid media. In spite of antigenic differences between adult and fœtal hæmoglobins2, serum and hæmolysate from adult and umbilical cord blood form precipitates in agar-gel, which are qualitatively the same. Cross-precipitation also occurs between human and some animal sera and hæmolysates. As the reaction is of general occurrence, it causes false positive results in tests for auto-antibodies when the tissue extract used as antigen contains sufficient lysed erythrocytes.

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  1. 1

    Peetoom, F., Rose, N., Ruddy, S., Micheli, A., and Grabar, P., Ann. Inst. Pasteur, 98, 252 (1960).

  2. 2

    Recent Advances in Clin. Path., Series 3, 202 (Churchill, 1960).

  3. 3

    Tuttle, A. H., Science, 121, 701 (1955).

  4. 4

    Allison, A. C., and ap Rees, W., Brit. Med. J., ii, 1137 (1957).

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WILSON, J., JOBLING, D. Precipitation Reaction between Serum and Lysed Erythrocytes. Nature 190, 550 (1961).

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