Antibodies to the constitutive 73-kd heat shock protein: a new marker of mixed connective tissue disease?

Am J Med. 1993 Dec;95(6):595-600. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(93)90355-s.


Purpose, patients, and methods: This report documents the finding of an elevated titer of IgG reacting with the constitutive bovine 73-kd heat shock protein (HSP) in the serum of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD).

Results and conclusions: Further characterization of antibodies from patients with MCTD showed that the antibodies also recognize the human constitutive 73-kd HSP, but not the inducible 72-kd isoform. Very high levels of antibodies appeared to be specific for MCTD; the differences between levels in patients with MCTD and those in healthy subjects (blood donors) were highly significant (p < 10(-8)), with no values in this group of patients overlapping with those in the controls. This parameter might therefore represent a new diagnostic marker for this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease / immunology*
  • Reference Values


  • Biomarkers
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G