The ANAs described above can be accounted for on the basis of an immune response to just three nucleoprotein structures - the nucleosome, the U1 snRNP, and the Ro particle. When these nucleoproteins are looked at in turn, the following picture emerges. The nucleosome is identified by both anti-histone and anti-DNA antibodies. Anti-histone H1 and anti-histone H2B antibodies predominate and tend to occur together. They, as well as the anti-DNA antibodies with which they appear to be linked, recognize external features of the intact nucleosome. The U1 snRNP is recognized by both anti-U1 RNA and anti-Sm antibodies. Most so-called anti-U1 RNP antisera actually contain several linked sets of different antibodies that are directed against various polypeptides (68K, A, and C) found on the U1 snRNP. Anti-Sm antibodies are linked to the occurrence of anti-U1 RNP antibodies. The Ro particle is recognized by both anti-La and anti-Ro antibodies, and almost all sera that contain anti-La antibodies and also contain anti-Ro antibodies. Thus, it appears that these three nucleoprotein particles become direct focal points for autoimmune responses in SLE. It is difficult to explain such focused responses on the basis of a general defect in immune regulation or spontaneous B-lymphocyte hyperactivity. Rather it appears that these nucleoproteins themselves are directly involved in determining which B-lymphocyte clones become activated. Thus, the simplest rationalization for the patterns with which these autoantibodies occur is to invoke the possibiliy that the particles themselves are directly triggering autoimmune responses.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1987|
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