Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies in the healthy elderly: prevalence and characteristics

J Clin Immunol. 1990 Nov;10(6):300-3. doi: 10.1007/BF00917474.


Using Crithidia luciliae fluorescent assay a significant prevalence (7.6%; P less than 0.006) of anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies was found in a healthy old population. A negative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for anti-total histone antibodies excluded a false-positive reaction. Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies in the aged differed from those found in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and were characterized by a low titer (95.6% of cases), belonging to the IgA class alone (95.6%), no complement-fixing ability (100%), and negativity to Farr assay (100%). It is concluded that, in elderly subjects without signs and symptoms of disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus, such a peculiar anti-double-stranded DNA antibody may be detected.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / immunology
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / classification
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • DNA / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA