Antiperinuclear factor, a rheumatoid arthritis specific autoantibody: its relation to Epstein-Barr virus

J Rheumatol. 1989 May;16(5):626-30.


We studied the prevalence of antiperinuclear factor (APF), an antibody frequently (50-80%) present in sera of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in different groups of patients. Sera from 123 patients with RA and 28 patients with recent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection showed APF in 63 and 51% of the patients, respectively. These frequencies were significantly increased (p0.001) when compared with 123 healthy blood donors (12%) and in 58 patients with herpes virus infections other than EBV (18%). Relations with other EBV elicited antibodies in RA and the relevance of EBV in RA are discussed. Our data suggest that EBV might be the immunogen for APF, an antibody, until now considered to be an autoantibody.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / analysis
  • Blood Donors
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Autoantigens
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Epstein-Barr viral capsid antigen
  • antiperinuclear factor
  • rheumatoid arthritis nuclear antigen