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J Autoimmun. 2006 Sep;27(2):125-33. Epub 2006 Aug 10.

Anti-MBL autoantibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: prevalence and clinical significance.

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Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, Delhi 110 007, India.


Occurrence of autoantibodies in patients' sera is the characteristic feature of autoimmune disorders. We assessed the presence of anti-mannose binding lectin (MBL) autoantibodies in the sera of 107 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and 121 control subjects by enzyme immunoassay. Elevated levels of anti-MBL autoantibodies in the sera of RA patients (P<0.0001) was detected for the first time. The ratios of anti-MBL positive in RA patients and controls were respectively 60.7% and 1.65%. Experiments were then designed to understand the functional relevance of these autoantibodies. An inverse correlation of anti-MBL autoantibodies with serum MBL levels (P=0.001) and MBL complex activity (P=0.02) was observed without genetic association between MBL polymorphisms and anti-MBL autoantibody secretion. A significant increase (P=0.038) in the level of anti-MBL autoantibodies was observed in 23 synovial fluid samples in comparison to the serum samples. Moreover, the anti-MBL autoantibodies were found to be more often present in the sera of RA patients (60.75% sensitivity, 98.35% specificity and 0.913 area under the ROC curve) in comparison to the IgM and IgG isotypes of rheumatoid factors (RF). Anti-MBL autoantibodies were still positive in 25.23% RA patients when both the RF isotypes were negative. Also, in RA patients, at all stages of disease activity and joint deformity, anti-MBL autoantibodies were more often present than both the RF isotypes. Therefore, the significant presence of anti-MBL autoantibodies enunciates that anti-MBL autoantibodies might have a diagnostic value; however, more studies are needed to confirm the role of anti-MBL autoantibodies in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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