What are Autoantibodies?

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Systemic Scleroderma
Localized Scleroderma
Thyroid Diseases


Photo of butterfly needleSpecialized blood tests such as antinuclear antibody (ANA) tests are sometimes useful in the diagnosis or categorization of both localized and systemic scleroderma, as well as overlapping or other autoimmune diseases. (Also see:What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma and Systemic Symptoms)

Functional autoantibodies in systemic sclerosis (SSc) pathogenesis. Functional autoantibodies could represent a significant piece in the puzzle of SSc pathogenesis and may open new gateways and opportunities for therapeutic intervention. PubMed, Curr Rheumatol Rep, 2015 May;17(5):505.

Autoantibodies and SLE-the threshold for disease. The current findings are summarized regarding the presence of SLE-associated antibodies in apparently healthy individuals, and provide opinions on what such discoveries might tell us about the roles of autoantibodies in the development of disease. PubMed, Nat Rev Rheumatol, 2013 Dec 3. (Also see Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Antibodies)

New Autoantibodies in early Rheumatoid Arthritis. These autoantibodies could be used as diagnosis markers in RA patients. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2013 Jul 25;15(4):R78. (Also see Rheumatoid Arthritis)

ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate

ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate. There are different methods of obtaining the SED rate--such as Westergren, Cutler, Wintrobe, and Smith--and what is considered normal will depend on the method used. This test can be used to monitor inflammatory or cancerous diseases. It is a screening test, which means it cannot be used to diagnose a specific disorder. Medline Plus.

Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma

ANCA and Anti-PR3
DNA, Topoisomerase I
ESR (Sed Rate)
PmScl and dsDNA
TNF and IL-13

Antibodies in Localized Scleroderma (Linear and Morphea)

Antinuclear Antibodies

IgG or IgM anti-Cu/Zn SOD antibody was detected in the serum of 89% of localized scleroderma patients, especially 100% of patients with generalized morphea, the severest form of localized scleroderma, but was positive only in the serum of less than 15% of patients with other autoimmune disorders, including systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and autoimmune bullous disorders. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. (Also see Generalized Morphea)


Antinucleosome antibody is a major autoantibody in localized scleroderma. Although antinucleosome antibody was not specific to localized scleroderma, its high prevalence in localized scleroderma indicates that antinucleosome antibody is a major autoantibody in this disease. PubMed, Br J Dermatol. (Also see Localized Scleroderma)

Lupus and Antibodies

Antibodies in Lupus. There are over 100 antibodies associated with lupus. ISN.

Elucidation of the potential disease-promoting influence of IgM apoptotic cell–reactive antibodies in lupus. Apoptotic cell-reactive IgM antibodies may be potentially capable of influencing the course of systemic autoimmune disease by affecting both innate and adaptive immunity. Lupus, 01/06/2016.

Anti-NKG2A autoantibodies in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). NKG2A autoantibodies are rare, but when they occur they may contribute to the pathogenesis by increasing the killing of cells and the release of autoantigens. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2013 Jul 3.

Sjogren's Syndrome and Antibodies

Sjogren's Syndrome Diagnosis. ISN.

Thyroid Disease and Antibodies

Thyroid Disease and Antibodies. ISN.

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