Sequentially obtained serum samples from 30 patients with connective tissue disease positive for antibody to ribonucleoprotein (RNP) were examined to determine the specificities of IgG and IgM antibodies to snRNP during the disease course using immunoblotting of nuclear extracts. The antibody patterns were correlated with disease activity. The patterns of antibody to snRNP of individual patients were mainly stable during the study but changes in levels of antibody to snRNP were seen corresponding to changes in clinical activity. These results indicate that increased reactivity of serum IgM antibodies against the B/B' proteins seems to precede a clinically evident exacerbation of disease whereas IgG antibody reactivity to the 70 K protein peaks at the time of a disease flare.
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