Cross-reactivity of yeast antigens in human colon and peripheral leukocytes

J Pathol. 2003 Mar;199(3):361-7. doi: 10.1002/path.1276.


Elevation of the serum anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody (ASCA) level has been reported in patients with Crohn's disease. This study investigated the antigenic distribution of S. cerevisiae in human colon and peripheral leukocytes. ASCA was isolated from sera from patients with Crohn's disease using immuno-affinity chromatography and then biotinylated and assayed immunohistologically and immunocytologically to determine the distribution of antigens recognized by ASCA in human colon and peripheral leukocytes. Immunoblot analysis of yeast extract and human peripheral leukocytes was performed. Immunohistological study using biotinylated ASCA revealed the presence of yeast-like particles in the granulation tissue of inflamed colonic mucosa. Biotinylated ASCA also stained lymphocytes and polymorphonuclear cells infiltrating inflamed intestine. Monocytes in epithelioid granulomas of colon with Crohn's disease were also stained. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes in peripheral blood were also stained with biotinylated ASCA. The antigens reactive to ASCA among heat-extracted, non-heat-extracted yeast antigens, and human leukocyte extract differed. The findings of cross-reactivity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes with S. cerevisiae antigen and the presence of S. cerevisiae antigen in Crohn's disease granulomas suggest the possibility of involvement of S. cerevisiae in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Fungal / analysis*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Colon / immunology
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / immunology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / isolation & purification*


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Immunoglobulin G