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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2002 Jan-Feb;20(1):13-8.

Anti-nucleosome antibody: significance in lupus patients lacking anti-double-stranded DNA antibody.

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The Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Research Institute of Immunobiology, Catholic Research Institutes of Medical Sciences, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.



To investigate the clinical significance of anti-nucleosome antibodies in SLE patients lacking anti-double stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibodies.


IgG anti-nucleosome antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in the sera of SLE patients. Anti-dsDNA antibodies were measured by Farr assays and ELISA, not only in the samples taken for anti-nucleosome testing, but also in sera obtained regularly during the follow-up.


Ninety-eight (76.0%) out of 129 patients with SLE had anti-nucleosome antibodies. Twenty-five patients (19.4%) consistently showed little or no anti-dsDNA reactivity during the course of their disease, and among these anti-nucleosome antibodies were present in the sera of 15 (60.0%). Of the patients with anti-dsDNA-negative SLE, renal disorders were present in 8 patients (32.0%), all of whom had anti-nucleosome antibodies. Renal disorders were not found in patients (n = 10) who had neither anti-dsDNA nor anti-nucleosome antibodies. Other autoantibodies such as anti-Ro, anti-Sm and anti-cardiolipin were not associated with renal disorders in this group. The levels of anti-nucleosome antibody strongly correlated with the SLEDAI scores, but inversely correlated with serum complement levels in anti-dsDNA negative SLE patients.


Our data suggest that the anti-nucleosome antibody may be a useful marker for diagnosis and activity assessment of anti-dsDNA negative SLE. Anti-nucleosome antibody may be an important factor for renal involvement in this subgroup of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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