Immunohistologic Alteration of Skin and Ultrastructural Changes of Glomerular Basement Membranes in Leprosy

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  • Department of Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Pathology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Lexington, Kentucky
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Immunofluorescent “banding” of the dermal-epidermal junction of skin was demonstrated in 3 of 7 patients with lepromatous leprosy by direct immunofluorescence microscopy. The “banding” was caused specifically by deposition of IgM. Within the glomeruli of one patient, dense, amorphous deposits in subendothelial and intramembranous position were also demonstrated by electron microscopy. These preliminary findings suggest that lepromatous leprosy may be associated with immunologic disturbances of both skin and glomerular basement membranes.