Fine specificity of the Ro/SSA autoantibody response in relation to serological and clinical findings in 96 patients with self-reported cutaneous symptoms induced by the sun.Lupus. 2007; 16(1):10-7.L
Anti-Ro/SSA assays assist the clinician in distinguishing autoimmune diseases such as Sjögrenś syndrome (SS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE). The objective of the study was to investigate the fine specificity of the autoantibodies in relation to clinical presentation as well as environmental and endogenous factors such as photosensitivity, smoking and immunoglobulin (Ig) levels in patients with Ro/SSA autoantibodies. Serum samples from 96 anti-Ro/SSA positive photosensitive patients were tested for autoantibody levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using purified recombinant Ro52 kd, Ro60 kd and La proteins as antigens. The highest levels of anti-Ro52 and anti-La were observed in patients with primary SS, and the lowest levels of anti-Ro52 in chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE). SCLE patients with systemic disease (SLE and/or SS) showed higher levels of anti-Ro52 than SCLE limited to the skin. A correlation between high serum levels of IgG and anti-Ro52 (P < 0.01) and between IgA and anti-Ro52 (P < 0.05) and anti-Ro60 (P < 0.05) was found. Polymorphic light eruption (PLE) was common in all diagnostic groups but did not correlate with autoantibody levels. Smoking was more common in lupus patients than in SS patients. Our findings thus propose different mechanisms for different clinical presentations of Ro/SSA positive patients. The testing of anti-Ro52 antibodies might serve as a prognostic tool in photosensitive cutaneous diseases.