Autoantibodies Associated With Connective Tissue Diseases: What Meaning for Clinicians?

Front Immunol. 2018 Mar 26;9:541. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00541. eCollection 2018.


Connective tissue diseases (CTDs) such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, myositis, Sjögren's syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis are systemic diseases which are often associated with a challenge in diagnosis. Autoantibodies (AAbs) can be detected in these diseases and help clinicians in their diagnosis. Actually, pathophysiology of these diseases is associated with the presence of antinuclear antibodies. In the last decades, many new antibodies were discovered, but their implication in pathogenesis of CTDs remains unclear. Furthermore, the classification of these AAbs is nowadays misused, as their targets can be localized outside of the nuclear compartment. Interestingly, in most cases, each antibody is associated with a specific phenotype in CTDs and therefore help in better defining either the disease subtypes or diseases activity and outcome. Because of recent progresses in their detection and in the comprehension of their pathogenesis implication in CTD-associated antibodies, clinicians should pay attention to the presence of these different AAbs to improve patient's management. In this review, we propose to focus on the different phenotypes and features associated with each autoantibody used in clinical practice in those CTDs.

Keywords: Sjögren’s syndrome; antibody; antisynthetase syndrome; dermatomyositis; necrotizing myopathy; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Myositis / immunology


  • Autoantibodies