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Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2011 Feb 23;4:11-9. doi: 10.4137/CMAMD.S6793.

Hydroxyl radical modification of immunoglobulin g generated cross-reactive antibodies: its potential role in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Dermatology.



Role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) modified human Immunoglobulin G (IgG) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been investigated.


Human IgG was modified by hydroxyl-radicals. Immunogenicity of native and modified human IgG was probed by inducing polyclonal antibodies in rabbits. Cross-reactions of induced antibodies with nucleic acid, chromatin, different blood proteins and their ROS modified conformers were determined by competitive inhibition ELISA. The binding characteristics of circulating autoantibodies in SLE patients (n = 72) against native and modified IgG were screened by direct binding and competition ELISA and the results were compared with healthy age-matched controls (n = 39).


Induced antibodies against ROS-modified human IgG exhibited diverse antigen binding characteristics. Native DNA, native chromatin and their ROS-modified conformers were found to be effective inhibitors of induced antibody-immunogen interaction. Induced antibodies against native human IgG showed negligible binding to the above mentioned nucleic acid antigens. SLE sera (48.6%) showed strong binding to ROS-human IgG in comparison with its native analogue (P < 0.01). Normal human sera (NHS) showed negligible binding with either antigen (P > 0.05).


ROS-induced modifications in human IgG present neo-epitopes, and make it a potential immunogen. The induced antibodies against ROS-modified human IgG resembled the diverse antigen-binding characteristics of naturally occurring SLE anti-DNA autoantibodies. ROS-modified IgG may be one of the factors for the induction of circulating SLE autoantibodies.


ROS-IgG; SLE; cross-reactive-antibodies; human IgG; reactive oxygen species

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