The method of filter paper electrophoresis was used to study proteins and protein-bound polysaccharides in sera obtained from subjects before and after a single booster dose of diphtheria toxoid, and in sera from allergic subjects.
The electrophoretic patterns of precipitating antitoxic sera resembled those found in normal non-immune sera. However, skin-sensitizing antitoxic sera were distinguished by a relatively large beta globulin component and a small or indistinct alpha2 globulin. Fusion of both components was present in some sera containing this variety of antitoxin. Considerable amounts of serum-bound polysaccharides in these sera migrated relatively slowly in contrast to the behavior of polysaccharides of precipitating antitoxic sera which migrated faster when tested under similar conditions. Alterations in proteins and carbohydrates were most readily observed in specimens containing high titers of antitoxin.
There were no demonstrable differences between the electrophoretic behavior of sera obtained from subjects before or after immunization with toxoid.
Electrophoretic patterns of serum from allergic subjects who developed marked eosinophilia showed attenuation of the alphas globulin associated with a relative preponderance of slow migrating protein-bound polysaccharides. These alterations were not present in sera obtained from the same persons before and after the development of eosinophilia.
Changes in the proteins and polysaccharides could not be demonstrated with consistency in subjects with mild to moderate hay-fever symptoms. One person who developed severe acute hay-fever symptoms showed alterations in the beta and alpha2 globulins.
Rheumatic fever subjects showed no unusual changes in the distribution of serum components. However, transition from the acute process to convalescence is graphically demonstrated by the marked decreases in gamma and alpha globulins and in protein-bound carbohydrates.