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Volume 3 Supplement 2

21st European Workshop for Rheumatology Research

  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Comparative analysis of anti-histone and anti-chromatin antibody specificity in lupus erythematosus cell-positive and -negative sera and their relation to disease activity

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 3 and
  • 1
Arthritis Research & Therapy20013 (Suppl 2) :P076

  • Received: 15 January 2001
  • Published:


  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Quinidine
  • Hydralazine
  • Procainamide
  • Organ Involvement

Anti-histone and anti-chromatin antibody responses play a central role in the autoimmune response of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Furthermore, anti-histone H1 antibodies are essential for the formation of the lupus erythematosus cell (LEC) phenomenon. In this study, the binding properties of LEC+ and LEC- SLE sera to chromatin-associated nuclear antigens (histones H1, H2A, H2B, H3, H4; complexes of H2A-H2B, [H2A-H2B]-DNA, H1-DNA; total and H1-stripped chromatin; native and denatured DNA) were investigated. In addition, sera from patients with drug-induced lupus (by procainamide, hydralazine, or quinidine), as well as from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, were assessed. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect specific antibody binding. Mirroring the important role of histone H1 in the formation of LE cells, anti-histone H1 reactivity was 8-fold higher in LEC+ sera than in LEC- sera. In addition, reactivities to most of the other antigens tested, i.e., other histones and histone-DNA complexes as well as chromatin and DNA, were significantly higher in LEC+ sera than in LEC- sera. All but 1 serum sample from the patients with drug-induced lupus were negative for LE cell formation as well as for anti-histone H1 reactivity, but displayed high antibody reactivities to histone-DNA complexes, including chromatin. Sera from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis did not show significant binding to these antigens. When comparing the clinical features of LEC+ and LEC-SLE patients, severe organ involvement, including nephritis and central nervous system involvement, was common in the LEC+ group, but rare in the LEC- group. A positive LE cell phenomenon not only correlated with the presence of high anti-histone H1 antibody levels in SLE, but also indicated serologically and clinically active disease with major organ involvement.

Authors’ Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, General Hospital Vienna, Austria
The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA
Institut de Biologie Moleculaire & Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France


© BioMed Central Ltd 2001