Complement-activating abilities of defined antinuclear antibodies

Arthritis Rheum. 1986 Jun;29(6):748-54. doi: 10.1002/art.1780290607.


A complement-fixing immunofluorescence assay on HEp-2 cells was used to assess the ability of various antinuclear antibodies (ANA) to activate complement. Sera which contained only specific antibodies to nuclear RNP, SS-B/La, centromere, Sm antigen, double-stranded DNA, and/or nuclear histone were selected. Relative abilities of various ANA to activate complement were determined from the ratio of titers of C3, C4, or properdin-fixing ANA to the IgG ANA titers. Nuclear RNP-anti-RNP complexes activated and deposited significantly more complement C3 than other ANA (P less than 0.02). Antibodies to SS-B/La, centromere, and Sm activated more complement than anti-DNA or antihistone (P less than 0.02). Antihistone antibodies activated the least complement. These studies demonstrate that different ANA have significantly different orders of complement-activating capabilities when bound to their respective nuclear antigens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / physiology*
  • Autoantigens / analysis
  • Centromere / immunology
  • Collagen Diseases / immunology*
  • Complement Activation*
  • Complement C3 / immunology
  • Complement C4 / immunology
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • DNA / immunology
  • Histones / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Properdin / immunology
  • Ribonucleoproteins / immunology
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear*
  • snRNP Core Proteins


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantigens
  • Complement C3
  • Complement C4
  • Histones
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
  • SS-B antibodies
  • snRNP Core Proteins
  • Properdin
  • DNA