Exposure of HEp-2 Cells to Stress Conditions Influences Antinuclear Antibody Reactivity.

Liping Du, Sachiko Fukushima, Annahita Sallmyr, Rolf Manthorpe, Anders Bredberg

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This study of stress-related antinuclear antibody (ANA) reactivity was undertaken with the objective of improving clinical ANA testing. ANA was determined by parallel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of crude nuclear protein antigen extracted from HEp-2 cells either grown under optimal conditions (providing nonstress ANA antigen) or exposed to stress (providing stress ANA antigen). The stress stimuli used were gamma radiation (causing DNA damage) and a hypertonic environment (causing apoptosis). Signs of stress-related ANA reactivity were seen among connective tissue disease (CTD) patients (including patients with systemic lupus erythematosus; mixed CTD; calcinosis, Reynaud's phenomenon, esophageal motility disorders, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia; scleroderma; and Sjögren's syndrome): 11% showed stress-positive ANA (i.e., a significantly stronger ANA reactivity with the extract from stressed cells), whereas 21% showed a markedly weaker reaction with the stress antigen. In contrast, among ANA screening patient sera, with no diagnosis of CTD, the fraction showing stress-positive ANA was higher (7 to 8%, depending on the type of stress) than among those showing a lower reactivity with stress antigen (1.5 to 2.5%). Only one serum among 89 (1%) tested sera from healthy individuals showed a stress-related ANA reaction. This demonstration of stress-related ANA suggests a means to improve the performance of clinical ANA testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Free keywords

  • Epitopes
  • Epithelial Cells/cytology/*immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • DNA Damage
  • Autoimmune Diseases/diagnosis/immunology
  • Apoptosis/*immunology
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Antinuclear/*analysis/immunology
  • Cultured
  • Antibodies
  • Human
  • Hypertonic Solutions
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Support
  • Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Tumor Cells


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