Nucleosome-restricted antibodies are detected before anti-dsDNA and/or antihistone antibodies in serum of MRL-Mp lpr/lpr and +/+ mice, and are present in kidney eluates of lupus mice with proteinuria

Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Nov;37(11):1684-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780371118.


Objective: To compare the humoral response to nucleosomes with the response to their individual components (double-stranded DNA [dsDNA] and histones) and to assess the involvement of antinucleosome antibodies in immune deposits in the kidney of MRL mice.

Methods: We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of sera and kidney eluates for antibody activity against purified nucleosomes, dsDNA, and histones.

Results: Antinucleosome antibodies emerged before anti-dsDNA and antihistone antibodies. A fraction of antinucleosome antibodies reacted exclusively with nucleosomes and not with their components, dsDNA and histones. These nucleosome-restricted antibodies were detected in the proteinuric MRL mouse kidney eluate.

Conclusion: Our findings support the notion that nucleosomes play a major role in the emergence of antinuclear autoantibodies and that antinucleosome antibodies might be involved in the nephritogenic process in murine lupus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • DNA / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Histones / immunology*
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Nucleosomes / immunology*
  • Proteinuria / etiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes
  • DNA