Cross-reactivity distinguishes serum and nephritogenic anti-DNA antibodies in human lupus from their natural counterparts in normal serum

J Autoimmun. 1990 Apr;3(2):215-35. doi: 10.1016/0896-8411(90)90142-f.


To distinguish the properties of anti-DNA antibodies in patients with lupus from those in normal individuals, we compared the ligand binding, idiotypic and charge properties of serum anti-DNA antibodies derived from: patients with active lupus; normal individuals; and among Ig eluted from the kidneys of two patients with active lupus nephritis (one with mesangial proliferation and the other with membranous nephropathy). The kidney eluate anti-DNA antibodies were the most cross-reactive; they cross-reacted with ssDNA, poly(GdC), poly(dT), poly(dG), poly(dC), ZDNA, SmRNP and the phospholipids cardiolipin and phosphatidyl serine. Lupus serum anti-DNA antibody cross-reacted with polynucleotides but not with phospholipids, whereas anti-DNA antibodies derived from normal serum reacted only with poly(dT). An anti-idiotype (anti-IdD; produced against serum anti-DNA antibodies from one patient) reacted with: anti-DNA antibodies in 8/9 lupus sera; antibodies in both kidney eluates; and anti-DNA antibodies from 5/7 normal sera. Anti-IdD did not react with Ig that did not bind to DNA. Isoelectric focusing of Ig showed that the charge of anti-DNA antibodies from lupus serum and normal serum were similar and unrestricted (pI 5.4-9.0); Ig in kidney eluates varied: membranous lupus pI 4.5-8.6; mesangial lupus pI 8.1-9.1. We conclude that idiotypically related anti-DNA antibodies in tissue lesions, lupus serum and normal serum from different individuals can be distinguished on the basis of their cross-reactive antigen-binding properties. Furthermore the cross-reactive properties of lupus auto-antibodies may influence their capacity to form glomerular immune deposits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / isolation & purification
  • Cross Reactions
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / analysis
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology
  • Nephrectomy


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes