Ro/SS-A- and La/SS-B-reactive B lymphocytes in peripheral blood of patients with Sjögren's syndrome

Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Jan;115(1):208-13. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1999.00779.x.


The aim of this study was to investigate the production of anti-Ro/SS-A and anti-La/SS-B antibodies in peripheral blood (PB) of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). The ELISPOT method was performed to quantify the frequency of PB lymphocytes spontaneously secreting anti-Ro/SS-A and/or anti-La/SS-B antibodies. The total number of IgG-, IgA- and IgM-producing cells was also quantified. The recombinant Ro 52-kD, Ro 60-kD and La 48-kD proteins were used as target antigens. Three of 18 SS patients had PB lymphocytes secreting IgG antibodies against the recombinant Ro 52-kD protein. The same three patients had high serum titres of anti-Ro 52-kD antibodies. In addition, these patients were classified as having severe disease, and all three had focus scores of >/= 8 in biopsies of the labial salivary glands (LSG). The correlation between the number of PB cells producing IgG antibodies against the recombinant Ro 52-kD protein and the focus score was significant (P < 0.01). The results indicate that only SS patients with severe disease and high degree of local inflammation in LSG have B cells producing anti-Ro/SS-A antibodies in PB. Thus, most of the spontaneous autoantibody production must take place in other body compartments, e.g. in exocrine glands and probably also in the lymphoid organs and/or other mucosal sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood*
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Count
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins / blood
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / blood*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • SS-A antibodies
  • SS-B antibodies