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Antinucleosome antibodies in the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. A P Cairns1,
  2. S A McMillan3,
  3. A D Crockard3,
  4. G K Meenagh1,
  5. E M Duffy2,
  6. D J Armstrong1,
  7. A L Bell1
  1. 1Queen’s University Musculoskeletal Education and Research Unit, Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2University of Ulster School of Biomedical Sciences, Coleraine,
  3. 3Regional Immunology Service, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A P Cairns, Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Stockman’s Lane, Belfast BT9 7JB, Northern Ireland, UK;

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Nucleosomes are fundamental units of chromatin released by internucleosomal cleavage during cell apoptosis, and nucleosomal material has been demonstrated in the surface blebs of apoptotic cells.1 Recent studies have shown the presence of antinucleosome antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).2,3 We measured the concentration of antinucleosome antibody present in the sera of patients with SLE and compared it with the concentration in healthy and disease control patients using a commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit.

Peripheral blood was sampled from 95 white patients with SLE (87 female, median age 47.0 years), 48 white patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (41 female, median age 55.5 years), 28 white patients with fibromyalgia (23 female, median age 47.0 years), and 95 white normal healthy volunteers (64 female, median age 31.0 years). All patients with SLE fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) diagnostic criteria.

An indirect solid phase immunometric assay (ELISA) was used for the quantitative determination of IgG autoantibodies to nucleosomes (Organtec Diagnostika, Mainz, Germany; antinucleosome kit), according to the …

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