Antinuclear antibodies


Antinuclear antibodies react with various nuclear autoantigens. Testing for them is critical for diagnosing connective tissue diseases, but they may be also found in other inflammatory diseases and in the elderly. They constitute a group of heterogeneous autoantibodies, and their specificity helps to discriminate between various connective tissue diseases. Screening for total antinuclear antibodies is generally performed by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp2 cells. In the presence of antinuclear antibodies, anti-dsDNA antibodies and anti-ENA (extractable nuclear antigens) antibodies must be sought. Positivity for IgG anti-dsDNA antibodies is highly characteristic of systemic lupus. A rapid increase in their titer suggests visceral, particularly renal, involvement. Anti-Sm antibodies are also characteristic of systemic lupus, while anti-JO1 and anti-Scl70 antibodies suggest, respectively, myositis and diffuse systemic sclerosis. Antibody titers do not provide information about disease course. The presence of anti-Ro/SSA antibodies during pregnancy requires a workup for cardiac conduction disturbances in the fetus.

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DefinitionAntibodies are proteins produced in vertebrates in response to certain substances. Antibodies are an important part of humoral immunity (which is mediated by antibodies). They are part of the gammaglobulin fraction and are also called immunoglobulins (Ig). Antibodies are produced by the body when B cells come into contact with a corresponding antigen. The B […]

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All Day 2016

From basic research to applications Around 200 researchers traveled to the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern on September 1 to take part in the All Day 2016. Scientists from different systems biology-related disciplines took over the museum for the day, where a packed program offered talks from project leaders and a comprehensive poster exhibition. […]

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