Anti-ribonucleoproteins autoantibodies in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Relation with cutaneous photosensitivity

Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Feb;30(2):209-16. doi: 10.1007/s10067-010-1481-8. Epub 2010 May 19.


A common feature between patients with a certain group of systemic autoimmune pathologies (SAPs) with rheumatic component, such as lupus erythematosus (LE) in all its forms, is the presence of cutaneous photosensitivity (CP) as well as the existence of autoantibodies (Aabs). These Aabs have also high incidence in other SAPs that do not present CP, like primary Sjögren's syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Cutaneous photosensitivity is a condition that consists of an exacerbated skin reaction to solar radiations; its incidence can reach 90% in systemic LE. The mechanisms involved in the development of CP have been extensively studied focusing on different approaches; however, the exact mechanism has not been fully elucidated yet. There are many theories that relate specifically the presence of circulating anti-Ro/SS-A Aabs with the CP phenomenon, though there are several studies which are in disagreement. In this study, we evaluated the Aabs profile (anti-Ro/SS-A 52 kDa, anti-Ro/SS-A 60 kDa, anti-La/SS-B, anti-Sm and ANAs) as well as their titer or reactivity, in a local cohort of 169 patients with SAPs. We related those Aabs profiles and titers with the presence or absence of CP, and we found that there was no significant association between the presence of anti-Ro/SS-A Aabs and the occurrence of CP. On the other hand, a statistically significant positive association was found between CP and high reactivity anti-Sm Aabs, though this fact could be biased by the incidence of both events in SLE patients. To sum up, in the particular population studied, there is no direct relationship between anti-Ro/SS-A Aabs and CP, which is in agreement with some authors and in disagreement with many others, contributing to the endless discussion of this issue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / immunology*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / immunology*
  • Skin / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantigens
  • Ribonucleoproteins