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AIT test has no problem in the detection of anti-ribosomal P

La-He Jearn and Think-You Kim*

Author Affiliations

Department of Early Arthritis/Laboratory Medicine, The Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Hanyang University Medical Center, 133-792 Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:407  doi:10.1186/ar2705

See related research by Mahler et al., and related letter by Mahler and Fritzler,

Published: 15 June 2009

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Mahler and colleagues posed a question on the reliability of the indirect immunofluorescence method using the HEp-2 cell line in their recent Arthritis Research and Therapy article [1]. Products from three different companies showed different staining patterns on the same anti-ribosomal P (anti-Rib-P) in the pictures they revealed. In addition to the anti-Rib-P that Mahler and colleagues mentioned, limitations of the HEp-2 cell line in the detection of autoantibodies such as anti-Ro have long been pointed out. The HEp-2000 cell line, which was developed to overcome such limitations, did not show any superior performance in the detection of anti-Rib-P since it was a form of HEp-2 cell that was transfected with cDNA encoding human Ro60. A human macrophage cell line called the IT-1 cell line was first introduced at the American College of Rheumatology meeting held in Minneapolis in 1994 [2], the same time as HEp-2000 was presented. IT-1 had been commercialized and passed inspection by the Korea Food and Drug Administration in South Korea. Currently, IT-1 is being used under the name of the autoimmune target (AIT) test and it participates in the quality control program run by the Korean Society of Laboratory Medicine [3]. In 1999 and 2007, reports of antinuclear antibody test using the IT-1 cell line on 208 and 588 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, respectively, showed a 100% positive rate that proved an exceptional improvement in the test performance [4,5]. Furthermore, the AIT test can indirectly help in the diagnosis of SLE using the microtubule organizing center pattern (MTOC) that can only be observed in the IT-1 cell line [4].