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J Rheumatol. 1991 Mar;18(3):363-7.

Changes in levels of antibodies against the 70 kDa and a polypeptides of the U1RNP complex in relation to exacerbations of systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.


In order to investigate whether disease exacerbations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are accompanied or preceded by changes in antibody levels against the U1RNA associated 70 kDa and A polypeptides, we prospectively collected plasma specimens from 71 patients with SLE. We compared changes in anti-70 kDa/anti-A levels, measured by ELISA using cloned antigens, with changes in levels of anti-dsDNA and total IgG. Measurable levels of anti-70 kDa (n = 10) and/or anti-A antibodies (n = 6) were detected during 10 exacerbations. Four of the 10 exacerbations with a measurable level of anti-70 kDa antibodies were preceded by a significant rise in anti-70 kDa levels, 2 by a significant fall, while levels of anti-70 kDa did not change in the remaining 4 cases. Only one of the 6 exacerbations with detectable anti-A antibody levels was preceded by a significant rise in anti-A antibodies, while levels did not change before exacerbation in the other 5 cases. Six of the 10 exacerbations were preceded by a significant rise in anti-dsDNA; in 4 cases levels of anti-dsDNA did not change before exacerbation. In contrast to anti-dsDNA, no relation was found between changes in levels of anti-70 kDa/anti-A and changes in disease activity. Significant changes in levels of anti-70 kDa/anti-A, occurring in 6 cases, were accompanied by parallel changes in total IgG in 5 of these 6. We conclude that, in contrast to anti-dsDNA, serial measurement of levels of anti-70 kDa/anti-A is not useful for monitoring disease activity or predicting disease exacerbations in SLE.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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