Introduction: Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are antibodies directed against nuclear structures of body's own cells. The causal and diagnostic role of ANA in autoimmune diseases - collagenoses, is vividly discussed.
Aims: To assess the frequency of antinuclear antibodies in samples of Polish general population.
Material and methods: Two groups were studied: "BD" - 50 blood donors (all males aged 21-55 years) from a donation centre in Lublin, and "PT" - 50 unselected patients from a rural health centre (42 females and 8 males aged 21-65, none was suspected of having an autoimmune/rheumatic disease). Sera of these persons were tested for the presence of ANA. Enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) was used with the Varelisa ReCombi ANA Profile EIA kit (Pharmacia&Upjohn). ReCombi ANA Profile contained the following antigens: dsDNA, RNP, Sm, SS-A/Ro, SS-B/La, Scl-70, CENP, Jo-1.
Results: One or more antinuclear autoantibodies were detected in 6 of 50 donors, and in 11 of 50 patients; dsDNA-specific autoantibodies were found in 1 donor and 5 patients, RNP - in 1 donor and 1 patient, SS-A/Ro - in 4 donors and 4 patients, SS-B/La - in no donor and 2 patients, Scl-70 - in 1 donor and 2 patients, Jo-1 - in no donor but in 2 patients. No Sm and CENP-specific autoantibodies were detected. There were no significant differences between blood donors and patients.
Conclusions: Altogether, antinuclear autoantibodies were found in 17 of 100 persons without signs of an autoimmune diseases, which suggests an appropriate caution when interpreting test results indicating the presence of ANA in a patient.
Institute of Dermatology, Krakow, Poland
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Document created: 17 October 2008, last updated: 4 July 2010.