Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. Feb 1995; 54(2): 117–124.
PMCID: PMC1005533

Investigation of the prevalence and clinical associations of antibodies to human fibronectin in systemic lupus erythematosus.


OBJECTIVES--To assess the prevalence of antibodies to human fibronectin (anti-Fn) in sera of patients with certain connective tissue diseases and to determine their association with disease activity and the pattern of organ involvement in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS--A capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to quantify anti-Fn antibodies in serum samples from 65 patients with well characterised SLE, 50 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 15 with Behçet's disease (BD), 15 with systemic vasculitis and 36 healthy subjects. An anti-Fn antibody titre greater than mean + 3SD of the healthy control log values after back transformation to the normal scale was considered positive. Disease activity in SLE patients was scored using the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) Index. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), concentrations of anti-dsDNA antibody, soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R), C3, C4, C3 degradation products (C3dg) and immunoglobulin, and antinuclear antibody (ANA) titres were measured in blood samples from SLE patients; neopterin concentration was measured in corresponding urine samples. RESULTS--Anti-Fn antibodies were found in 22 of 65 SLE patients (33.8%), seven of 50 with RA (14%), one of 15 with BD (6.6%) and none of the 15 subjects with vasculitis. Thirty SLE patients had active disease and 35 had inactive disease; their median anti-Fn concentrations were 117 u/ml (range 47-450) and 68 u/ml (range 17-334), respectively (p = 0.0001). The presence of anti-Fn did not correlate with immunoglobulin concentrations or ANA titres in these sera. No significant difference was found between SLE patients with disease activity in one major organ system compared with multiple organ involvement, as defined by BILAG (p = 0.19). However, patients with musculoskeletal manifestations had consistently greater anti-Fn concentrations compared with patients with other clinical manifestations. There were significant correlations between amounts of anti-Fn in SLE sera and ESR (rs = 0.25, p = 0.045), sIL-2R (rs = 0.28, p = 0.024) and urine neopterin (rs = 0.3, p = 0.016) but not with serum anti-dsDNA antibody titres, plasma C3, C3dg or C4. However multiple regression analysis showed a low significant correlation only with sIL-2R and BILAG score (p = 0.047 and 0.042, respectively). CONCLUSION--Anti-Fn antibodies were detected in 34% of SLE patients and in small proportions of RA and BD patients. An association between serum anti-Fn and disease activity in SLE has been identified and most SLE patients with musculoskeletal involvement had increased anti-Fn antibody concentrations.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Weinstein A, Bordwell B, Stone B, Tibbetts C, Rothfield NF. Antibodies to native DNA and serum complement (C3) levels. Application to diagnosis and classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Am J Med. 1983 Feb;74(2):206–216. [PubMed]
  • Atta MS, Powell RJ, Hopkinson ND, Todd I. Human anti-fibronectin antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus: occurrence and antigenic specificity. Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Apr;96(1):20–25. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Henane T, Rigal D, Monier JC. Auto-anticorps anti-fibronectine au cours des lupus érythémateux disséminés, des polyarthrites rhumatoïdes et de diverses maladies infectieuses bactériennes ou virales. Pathol Biol (Paris) 1986 Mar;34(3):165–171. [PubMed]
  • Stefanato CM, Gorkiewicz-Petkow A, Jarzabek-Chorzelska M, Jablonska S, Chorzelski T. Morphea with high titer of fibronectin antibodies. Int J Dermatol. 1992 Mar;31(3):190–192. [PubMed]
  • Ruoslahti E. Fibronectin and its receptors. Annu Rev Biochem. 1988;57:375–413. [PubMed]
  • Atta MS, Powell RJ, Todd I. The influence of anti-fibronectin antibodies on interactions involving extracellular matrix components and cells: a possible pathogenic mechanism. Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Apr;96(1):26–30. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Murphy-Ullrich JE, Oberley TD, Mosher DF. Serologic and pathologic studies of mice immunized with homologous fibronectin. Am J Pathol. 1986 Oct;125(1):182–190. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Murphy-Ullrich JE, Oberley TD, Mosher DF. Detection of autoantibodies and glomerular injury in rabbits immunized with denatured human fibronectin monomer. Am J Pathol. 1984 Oct;117(1):1–11. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tan EM, Cohen AS, Fries JF, Masi AT, McShane DJ, Rothfield NF, Schaller JG, Talal N, Winchester RJ. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 1982 Nov;25(11):1271–1277. [PubMed]
  • Hay EM, Bacon PA, Gordon C, Isenberg DA, Maddison P, Snaith ML, Symmons DP, Viner N, Zoma A. The BILAG index: a reliable and valid instrument for measuring clinical disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Q J Med. 1993 Jul;86(7):447–458. [PubMed]
  • Laemmli UK. Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature. 1970 Aug 15;227(5259):680–685. [PubMed]
  • Slazyk WE, Spierto FW. Liquid-chromatographic measurement of biopterin and neopterin in serum and urine. Clin Chem. 1990 Jul;36(7):1364–1368. [PubMed]
  • Cohen DE, Kaufman LD, Varma AA, Seibold JR, Stiller M, Gruber BL. Anti-laminin autoantibodies in collagen vascular diseases: the use of adequate controls in studies of autoimmune responses to laminin. Ann Rheum Dis. 1994 Mar;53(3):191–193. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sato TN, Hayashi M. On the origin of species specificity of fibronectin. Immunological identification of a species-specific domain of human fibronectin. J Biochem. 1986 Mar;99(3):653–661. [PubMed]
  • Swaak AJ, Aarden LA, Statius van Eps LW, Feltkamp TE. Anti-dsDNA and complement profiles as prognostic guides in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 1979 Mar;22(3):226–235. [PubMed]
  • ter Borg EJ, Horst G, Limburg PC, Kallenberg CG. Changes in plasma levels of interleukin-2 receptor in relation to disease exacerbations and levels of anti-dsDNA and complement in systemic lupus erythematosus. Clin Exp Immunol. 1990 Oct;82(1):21–26. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sakane T, Suzuki N, Takada S, Ueda Y, Murakawa Y, Tsuchida T, Yamauchi Y, Kishimoto T. B cell hyperactivity and its relation to distinct clinical features and the degree of disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Jan;31(1):80–87. [PubMed]
  • Hardin JA. The lupus autoantigens and the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 1986 Apr;29(4):457–460. [PubMed]
  • Gharavi AE, Chu JL, Elkon KB. Autoantibodies to intracellular proteins in human systemic lupus erythematosus are not due to random polyclonal B cell activation. Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Nov;31(11):1337–1345. [PubMed]
  • Dziarski R. Autoimmunity: polyclonal activation or antigen induction? Immunol Today. 1988 Nov;9(11):340–342. [PubMed]
  • Davis P, Percy JS, Russell AS. Correlation between levels of DNA antibodies and clinical disease activity in SLE. Ann Rheum Dis. 1977 Apr;36(2):157–159. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...