Objective: To determine the prevalence of anti-U1 RNA antibodies in connective tissue disease (CTD) patients and evaluate immunogenetic and clinical features of patients possessing these antibodies.
Methods: RNA immunoprecipitation was used to analyze patient and healthy control sera for the presence of anti-R1 RNA antibodies. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting were used to determine small nuclear RNP (snRNP) polypeptide antibodies. HLA polymorphisms were determined by microcytotoxicity and DNA typing.
Results: Anti-U1 RNA IgM and IgG antibodies were found in 60% of anti-RNP positive patients. All of the anti-U1 RNA positive patients had anti-70K, and most had anti-A, (U1)snRNP polypeptide antibodies. HLA-DR2/DR4, as well as Raynaud's phenomenon and synovitis, were significantly increased in the anti-U1 RNA positive group.
Conclusion: The presence of anti-U1 RNA antibodies correlates with anti-70K and anti-A polypeptide antibodies. In addition, the anti-U1 RNA positive CTD patient group is immunogenetically and clinically distinctive from the anti-U1 RNA negative patient group.