Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 21–27

Lymphocytotoxic antibodies in SLE: A review of the literature

  • C. Osman
  • A. J. G. Swaak

DOI: 10.1007/BF02229861

Cite this article as:
Osman, C. & Swaak, A.J.G. Clin Rheumatol (1994) 13: 21. doi:10.1007/BF02229861


In a great majority of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) lymphocytotoxic antibodies (LCA) are detected. The reported prevalence depends on the methods of detection and definition of test-positivity. The pathogenetic role of LCA remains unclear. Different reports show that LCA can have an influence on mononuclear cell function, e.g., on production of interferon, or specifically on T-cell function. In several studies T-cell specificity of LCA cannot be shown. Sometimes an overlap between LCA and anti-B2M antibodies is founds, suggesting that LCA have anti-B2M activity. Anti-B2M activity might have an impact on T-cell as well as on B cell function. Next to the anti-B2M activity, binding to nuclear material is claimed. Investigating the role of LCA in respect to lymphopenia, a direct relationship cannot be found; however, LCA might induce interferon production, resulting in lymphopenia. Several studies show or claim a relationship between the presence of LCA and neurological manifestations in SLE patients; the results, however, remain questionable due to the difference in detection methods as well as in definition of central nervous system (CNS) involvement. In other studies, an increased incidence of LCA is reported in relatives of SLE patients as well. In addition, LCA are reported in quite a lot of other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, malignancies and viral illnesses. This latter association has led to the assumption that LCA might have a virus-related origin.

Key words

Lymphocytotoxic Antibodies LCA Systemic Lupus Erythematosus SLE Lymphopenia 

Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Osman
    • 1
  • A. J. G. Swaak
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineZuider Ziekenhuis RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dept of RheumatologyDr Daniel den Hoed ClinicRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations