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October 1994

Antigen Specificity of Antihistone Antibodies in Localized Scleroderma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo (Japan).

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(10):1273-1277. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690100057009

Background and Design:  Recently, we detected antihistone antibodies (AHAs) in patients with localized scleroderma. However, the exact antigen specificity of AHAs in this disease is still unknown. Therefore, we determined the reactivity of AHAs with five individual histones and the correlation of AHAs with rheumatoid factor in localized scleroderma by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Twenty patients with localized scleroderma who had IgG and/or IgM AHAs, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, were examined. These patients were classified into the following three subgroups: patients with generalized morphea (n=11), patients with linear scleroderma (n=6), and patients with morphea (n=3).

Results:  In generalized morphea, IgG AHAs strongly reacted with histones H1, H2A, and H2B; and IgM AHAs strongly reacted with HI and H2B, as determined by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The pattern of reactivity in linear scleroderma and morphea was similar to that in generalized morphea. A homogeneous immunofluorescent pattern on HEp-2 cells, which was produced by localized scleroderma sera, was completely abolished by absorption with total histones. By employing a latex agglutination test, IgM rheumatoid factor was detected in 60% of the 20 patients with localized scleroderma and at a frequency of 82% in those with generalized morphea. However, an absorption test of rheumatoid factor activity with human IgG revealed no cross-reactivity of AHAs with rheumatoid factor.

Conclusions:  Our data suggest that AHAs in localized scleroderma are directed against native chromatin, since H1, H2A, and H2B occupy a relatively exposed portion of chromatin.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:1273-1277)

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