In vitro production of anti histone antibodies by spleen cells from young autoantibody negative NZB/NZW mice

J. R. O'Dell, B. L. Kotzin

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13 Scopus citations


Anti-histone antibodies (AHA) are spontaneously produced in NZB/NZW mice as part of their autoimmune disease. IgM AHA are usually not detected until after 4 mo of age, and older female mice switch to the production of IgG AHA. We studied the in vitro production of AHA by spleen cells from young (≤ 12-wk-old) NZB/NZW mice. Despite the absence of elevated serum AHA activity, spleen cells from these mice demonstrated marked spontaneous autoantibody production in culture. In kinetic studies, little in vitro production was detectable after 1 day of culture, and maximal accumulation occurred on day 5. Elevated AHA production was apparent by cells from 2-wk-old NZB/NZW mice, and an age-dependent increase in autoantibody production was also noted. Only AHA of the IgM class were detected in cultures of young spleen cells. The in vitro production of IgM AHA in culture was T cell dependent, depletion of T cells resulting in a 70 to 90% reduction in production, which was corrected by the readdition of T cells. In cultures where both IgM AHA and total IgM secretion were measured, a much greater T cell dependence for AHA production was apparent. The requirement for T cells could also be partially replaced by factors present in concanavalin A supernatant. AHA secretion was induced by lipopolysaccharide by using cells from both NZB/NZW and non-autoimmune mice. Although production was greater with NZB/NZW cells, the difference was much less than that for spontaneous production. Thus, AHA-secreting cells that are dependent on in vitro T cell help are present in young NZB/NZW mice. These studies may help define the mechanisms responsible for selective autoantibody secretion in lupus-like disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1107
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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