The binding of SLE autoantibodies to mitochondria.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic autoimmune disease characterized by immune complexes. Because these complexes contain mitochondrial components, we assessed the presence of antibodies to whole mitochondria (wMITO) using an ELISA in which mitochondria from mouse liver are bound to microtiter plates pre-coated with poly-l-lysine. Studies with this ELISA demonstrated that SLE plasmas contain abundant anti-wMITO activity. While digestion with DNase 1 did not affect anti-wMITO activity, adsorption of plasma on DNA affinity columns could reduce binding activity. Assay for anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) by immunofluorescence and an ELISA with the M2 antigen (2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase protein complex) showed a low frequency of positivity, indicating that AMA and anti-wMITO are distinct specificities. In the study of 204 patients with SLE, the levels of anti-wMITO were higher in active SLE and correlated with levels of anti-DNA. These findings suggest that anti-wMITO can form immune complexes with mitochondria which may drive pathogenesis.
Pisetsky, DS; Spencer, DM; Mobarrez, F; Fuzzi, E; Gunnarsson, I; Svenungsson, E
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