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Antibodies to the five histones and poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) in drug induced lupus: implications for pathogenesis.
  1. R N Hobbs,
  2. A L Clayton,
  3. R M Bernstein

    Abstract

    Certain drugs are a frequent source of antinuclear antibody (ANA) induction, and ANA is invariably present in the few patients who progress to the drug induced lupus syndrome. This report concerns the fine specificity of the ANA response to hydralazine, penicillamine, and sulphasalazine therapy. Using highly purified individual histones in fluorimetric assays, antihistone antibodies are always detectable, often in large amounts, but the pattern of response to individual histones is variable and not drug specific. In addition to the response to the three histones H1, H2B, and H3 reminiscent of idiopathic systemic lupus erythematosus, antibody to histone H2A predominates in some drug induced cases. Contrary to previous thought, histones are not the sole target of the antinuclear response: we also demonstrate a significant correlation between ANA titre and antibody to poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose). Like the histones, this is a macromolecule that can bind to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It is proposed that drug induced damage to chromatin leads to ANA production, while drug induced impairment of complement activity may then enable these autoantibodies to mediate the lupus syndrome.

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