Anti-tetanus toxoid antibody synthesis after booster immunization in systemic lupus erythematosus. Comparison of the in vitro and in vivo responses

Arthritis Rheum. 1980 Dec;23(12):1343-50. doi: 10.1002/art.1780231203.


The in vivo and in vitro synthesis of anti-tetanus toxoid antibody (anti-tet) was measured after booster immunization with tetanus toxoid in 9 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 9 controls. In vitro culture of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from both patients and controls showed maximal anti-tet synthesis 7 days after booster immunization, and maximal serum titers occurred by day 14. The initial in vitro burst of anti-tet synthesis was not dependent upon pokeweed mitogen (PWM) stimulation, whereas later synthesis was PWM dependent. Two differences between patients and controls were observed: 1) patients with SLE had a lower mean pre-boost serum titer of anti-tet, and 2) one-third of the patients showed a blunted serum anti-tet response. To study whether these abnormalities were a result of altered immune regulation, anti-tet synthesis was measured by the coculture of separated SLE-B or control-B cells and separated SLE-T or control-T cell populations (+/- irradiation to remove suppressor T cell activity). These coculture studies showed that both abnormalities were due to a lack of SLE-B cell response, not to abnormalities of SLE-helper T or SLE-suppressor T cell function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clostridium tetani / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pokeweed Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tetanus Toxoid / immunology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Pokeweed Mitogens
  • Tetanus Toxoid