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Increased serum levels of anti-elastin antibodies in patients with Peyronie's disease.

The cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown. Immunological mechanisms in the pathogenesis have been previously suggested. Antibodies to elastin are present in all individuals. However, abnormal serum levels of anti-tropoelastin (reflecting elastin synthesis) and anti-alpha-elastin (reflecting elastin destruction) are seen in a variety of autoimmune diseases. We show that patients with Peyronie's disease have higher levels of antibodies to tropoelastin (p < 0.047) and alpha-elastin (p < 0.012) than age-matched controls, suggesting an increase in elastin synthesis and breakdown, respectively. These findings suggest the presence of autoimmune mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Peyronie's disease, which may have future diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

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