Antibodies to mitotic spindle apparatus: clinical significance of NuMA and HsEg5 autoantibodies

J Clin Immunol. 2008 Jul;28(4):285-90. doi: 10.1007/s10875-008-9170-y. Epub 2008 Feb 1.


Introduction: The clinical associations of NuMA and HsEg5 antibodies, the main anti-mitotic spindle apparatus autoantibodies, remain unclear due to their extremely low prevalence.

Patients and methods: We have analysed the clinical data of 40 anti-NuMA- (0.87 per thousand) and 7 anti-HsEg5- (0.15 per thousand) positive patients detected during routine immunofluorescence examination of 45,804 sera. NuMA reactivity was further confirmed by immunoblotting.

Results: Antibodies to HsEg5 did not associate with any specific pathology. NuMA positivity associated with a diagnosis of connective tissue disease (CTD) in 18 patients (45%), primary Sjögren or sicca syndrome and undifferentiated connective tissue disease being the most represented. Seven patients (17.5%) were diagnosed with different organ-specific autoimmune diseases, whereas in the other 15 patients (37.5%), no autoimmune pathology could be documented.

Conclusions: Therefore, although both anti-mitotic spindle apparatus antibodies are not associated to a defined autoimmune pathology, the presence of NuMA antibodies, mainly at high titers, may be an indication for a more extensive screening of CTD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Nuclear / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / blood
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Kinesin / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins / immunology*


  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • NUMA1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins
  • Kinesin