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. In contrast to anti-dsDNA, changes in levels of anti-70 kDa/anti-A antibodies may be related to polyclonal B-cell activation.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of Rheumatology|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||3|
|Status||Published - mrt-1991|