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Open Badges Editorial

Lots of autoantibodies equal lupus?

Martin Aringer1* and Edward Vital2

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Clinical Center Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany

2 Section of Musculoskeletal Disease, NIHR Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, LS7 4SA, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:102  doi:10.1186/ar4126

See related research by Olsen et al.,

Published: 22 January 2013


Autoantibodies may be found years before an autoimmune disease becomes clinically apparent. For systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), those to RNA-binding proteins, to phospholipids, and to double-stranded DNA, in particular, have been found in sera of SLE patients years before the diagnosis was made. New data now show in an unbiased way that, in patients with early SLE, no single antibody class or specificity is associated with progression to SLE. Rather, an increasing number of autoantibody specificities, such as to thyroid antigens, was observed in patients progressing. This points to more generalized B cell autoreactivity during progression to SLE, underlying lupus disease manifestations.