Development of the anti-Ro autoantibody response in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Oct;39(10):1664-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780391008.


Objective: To characterize the initial events in anti-Ro production by a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus, in whom this autoantibody is developing.

Methods: The immune response to the Ro ribonucleoprotein and other autoantigens were studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for IgG and IgM, by isoelectric focusing, and by inhibition studies to determine apparent avidity.

Results: The patient's sera showed an oligoclonal response to Ro that increased in complexity and affinity with time. IgM anti-Ro appeared shortly before IgG anti-Ro, and disappeared as IgG anti-Ro increased in titer and affinity. IgG antiribosomal P autoantibodies also appeared during the patient's course, but in contrast to anti-Ro, were not preceded by IgM antiribosomal P.

Conclusion: These data are consistent with the Ro autoantigen being presented and processed in a manner similar to heterologous antigen, and with differences in the mechanisms that lead to the production of IgG anti-Ro autoantibodies as opposed to antiribosomal P autoantibodies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantigens / blood
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • RNA, Small Cytoplasmic*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / blood
  • Ribonucleoproteins / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Small Cytoplasmic
  • RO60 protein, human
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SS-A antigen