Clinical manifestations of anti-synthetase syndrome positive for anti-alanyl-tRNA synthetase (anti-PL12) antibodies: a retrospective study of 17 cases

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2010 May;49(5):972-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep455. Epub 2010 Feb 15.


Objective: To describe the clinical manifestations of the anti-synthetase syndrome (ASS) specifically associated with anti-alanyl-tRNA (anti-PL12) synthetase antibodies.

Methods: In a retrospective study, 17 patients (eight males, nine females, mean age = 60.3 years) with ASS symptoms confirmed by two consecutive tests (cyto-dot and/or immunoblot, or both), with positive results for anti-PL12 antibodies, were included.

Results: All patients presented with interstitial lung disease (ILD), which was associated with mild myositis in 41% of the cases. RP and general impairment were common, whereas rheumatic and dermatological symptoms were uncommon. Four patients suffered from SS, and four others had an atypical oesophageal involvement. The long-term course was assessable for 10 patients (follow-up of 41.1 months). Five patients required immunosuppressive drugs. Two patients are waiting for a lung transplant because of disproportionate and refractory pulmonary hypertension.

Conclusion: The severity of anti-PL12 ASS varied because of the constant pulmonary involvement. ILD was the predominant prognosis factor, which was notable in cases associated with pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alanine-tRNA Ligase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Alanine-tRNA Ligase / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myositis / complications*
  • Myositis / immunology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome


  • Autoantibodies
  • Alanine-tRNA Ligase