Precursor frequencies for DNA-specific B lymphocytes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Jun;96(3):450-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1994.tb06050.x.


Precursor frequencies for anti-DNA-secreting B cells were estimated in six healthy donors and 18 SLE patients with active and inactive disease. Precursors for IgG anti-dsDNA-secreting B cells were exclusively detected in SLE patients (73% of active patients and one inactive patient, 0.01-0.99% of IgG-producing B cells). These frequencies were in the same order of magnitude as frequencies of precursors for IgG anti-tetanus toxoid, which were detectable in three healthy volunteers after booster vaccination (0.07-0.8% of IgG-producing B cells), but not before (< 0.01%). Precursors for IgG anti-ss-DNA secreting B cells were observed in 33% of healthy donors and in 78% of SLE patients (0.01-0.32% of IgG-producing B cells). Only patient-derived IgG anti-DNA clones cross-reacted with (33%) or were monoreactive to dsDNA (12%). Precursors for IgM anti-DNA-secreting B cells were observed in healthy donors and SLE patients in comparable frequencies and with similar reactivities with ssDNA and dsDNA. Segregation analyses and sorting experiments showed that > 94% of clones secreting IgG anti-DNA were derived from in vivo sIgG+ B cells. sIgM+ B cells were induced to switch in vitro; however, only twice were cultures containing IgM and IgG anti-DNA antibodies observed under clonal conditions. In conclusion, our results indicate that precursor B cells for IgG anti-dsDNA in SLE patients are similarly selected and expanded as are precursor B cells specific for foreign antigens such as tetanus toxoid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / biosynthesis
  • Antibody Specificity
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • DNA / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tetanus Toxoid / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • DNA