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J Autoimmun. 2002 Nov;19(3):155-60.

Autoantibodies to C-reactive protein is a common finding in SLE, but not in primary Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Linköping, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.


The occurrence of antibodies to human C-reactive protein (CRP) was analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 56 patient sera known to contain antibodies to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and in 16 sera from patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS), 15 rheumatoid arthritis, 31 Crohn's disease, and 37 ulcerative colitis. Eighty-seven per cent of the patients with anti-dsDNA antibodies had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the remaining had autoimmune hepatitis. The cut-off for positive anti-CRP test was set at the 95th percentile of 100 healthy blood donors. Twenty of 56 anti-dsDNA sera (36%) and two of 16 SS sera (13%) had antibodies reactive with human CRP, whereas all other samples were negative. Thirteen of 27 SLE patients (48%) were positive on at least one occasion. The sera containing anti-CRP antibodies only reacted with surface-bound antigen, but not with native CRP in solution. In conclusion, we found that autoantibodies to CRP are common in sera from patients with anti-dsDNA antibodies. It is not likely that this explains the relative failure of CRP response in patients with active SLE. However, it cannot be excluded that anti-CRP autoantibodies have other biological potentials of pathophysiological interest in SLE, for instance by binding to CRP deposited on cell and tissue surfaces.

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