We studied the serologic properties of monoclonal autoantibodies that were produced by hybridomas derived from lymphocytes of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. The hybridomas were made by fusion of a human lymphoblastoid cell line, GM 4672 (derived from a patient with multiple myeloma), with peripheral-blood or splenic lymphocytes from six patients with lupus. Thirty monoclonal autoantibodies, selected for their ability to react with denatured DNA, were analyzed. Eighteen of them reacted with three or more additional polynucleotides, including native DNA, left-handed double-helical DNA (Z-DNA), poly(I), and poly(dT). Ten reacted both with nucleic acids and the phospholipid cardiolipin. The multiple binding reactions of the monoclonal autoantibodies may be explained by the presence of appropriately spaced phosphodiester groups in both the polynucleotides and the phospholipid. The sharing of antigenic groups by polymers of different natures may contribute to the apparent diversity of serologic reactions in systemic lupus erythematosus. These findings suggest that DNA itself need not be the immunogenic stimulus for autoantibody formation in this disease. (N Engl J Med. 1983; 308:414–20.) The serum of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus contains autoantibodies that react with a variety of nuclear, cytoplasmic, and cell-surface antigens.1 Lupus autoantibodies also lead to false-positive serologic tests for syphilis by reacting with cardiolipin,2 and they can produce anticoagulant effects in vitro by interfering with thromboplastin generation.3 These diverse serologic phenomena have been studied in murine models of lupus by means of monoclonal autoantibodies that were produced by hybridomas derived from mice with the disease.4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 The analyses revealed that a single antibody to DNA could react with multiple synthetic polynucleotides of different base composition.5 6 7 8 Furthermore, some of the monoclonal.
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