Regulation of serum anti-DNA antibody in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) by an antiidiotypic antibody was evaluated. Various sera from SLE patients in active and inactive states of their disease, as well as sera from normal individuals, were first completely depleted of anti-DNA and of DNA by affinity chromatography. The suppressive capacity of equimolar concentrations of the various depleted sera (blocking sera) on target lupus sera were determined. The target sera were from lupus patients with known DNA-binding capacity. Blocking sera from inactive SLE suppressed the binding of autologous anti-DNA antibody to [3H]DNA (n = 19,P < 0.01). Blocking sera from active SLE (n = 19), as well as human serum albumin, did not suppress. Sera from normal donors who had no contact with lupus patients or with lupus sera did not suppress (n = 14, P > 0.5), whereas those from normal donors who had contact with lupus patients or sera did suppress the binding (n = 5,P < 0.02). The anti-anti-DNA antibody suppressive activity in the inactive lupus serum was shown to be localized within the F(ab′)2 portion of immunoglobulin (Ig)G and could not be removed upon adsorption by normal human gammaglobulin. Furthermore, immune complexes could be detected by a Clq binding assay when the inactive lupus blocking sera were incubated with the anti-DNA antibody containing target sera. The specificity of the suppressive serum factor was shown by its inability to block the binding of tetanus toxoid to antitetanus antibody and its ability to block the binding of DNA to F(ab′)2 fragments of active lupus IgG.


Nabih I. Abdou, Helen Wall, Herbert B. Lindsley, John F. Halsey, Tsuneo Suzuki


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