Alpha1 Antitrypsin in the Livers of Patients with Emphysema

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Science  07 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4017, pp. 63-65
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4017.63


Parenchymal liver cells from emphysema patients with an inherited deficiency of α1-antitrypsin contain globules of glycoprotein that bind fluorescent antibody to α1-antitrypsin. The globules can be seen after hematoxylin and eosinstaining or on electron microscopy, but are more readily demonstrated by PAS stain of amylase-treated liver sections. It appears that an inappropriately large amount of α1-antitrypsin is found in the liver even when there is a deficiency in the serum. Genetic variants of the normal antitrypsin molecule may be unable to leave their site of synthesis in the liver cell because of some molecular aberration.