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Clin Immunol. 2012 Mar;142(3):390-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

IgM autoantibodies to distinct apoptosis-associated antigens correlate with protection from cardiovascular events and renal disease in patients with SLE.

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Department of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Emerging evidence suggests that there are IgM-autoantibodies that may play protective roles in SLE. While IgM are often considered polyreactive, we postulate that there are distinct sets of IgM-autoantibodies of defined autoreactive specificities relevant to different features of SLE. We examined the relationships between levels of IgM natural autoantibodies (NAbs) to apoptosis-associated phosphorylcholine (PC) or malondialdehyde (MDA) antigens, with lupus-associated autoantibodies and features of disease, in 120 SLE patients. IgM anti-PC was significantly higher in patients with low disease activity and less organ damage determined by the SELENA-SLEDAI, the physician's evaluation and the SLICC damage score. Furthermore, IgM anti-PC was significantly higher in patients without cardiovascular events. In contrast, IgM anti-cardiolipin and IgM anti-dsDNA were significantly higher in patients without renal disease. These results support the hypothesis that some IgM autoantibodies are part of a natural immune repertoire that provide homeostatic functions and protection from certain clinical lupus features.

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