Anti-insulin antibodies and the natural autoimmune response in systemic lupus erythematosus

M. Lidar, A. Braf, N. Givol, P. Langevitz, R. Pauzner, A. Many, A. Livneh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by the finding of ample serum autoantibodies. The role and the origin of many of these antibodies are still obscure. The aim of this work was to study the occurrence of anti-insulin antibodies (AIA) in SLE, and to postulate, based on AIA determination, on the mechanisms involved in the production of some autoantibodies in SLE. IgG and IgM AIA, anti-DNA antibodies (ADA) and anti-tetanus toxoid antibodies (ATA) were determined using ELISA in sera and B-lymphocytes culture media of 24 SLE patients, 10 healthy controls and 19 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients. B- and T-lymphocytes were isolated using Ficoll gradient, depleted of T-cells using cyclosporin A, EBV infected and grown in medium. The frequencies of IgM-AIA and IgG-ADA were higher in SLE patients than in healthy controls (P < 0.02 and P < 0.05, respectively). The rate of IgM-AIA in SLE and IDDM was comparable, while IgG-AIA was significantly less common in SLE than in IDDM (P < 0.05). The prevalence of ATA in SLE patients and healthy controls was similar. These findings increase the spectrum of the humoral autoimmune response in SLE and suggest that part of it (natural autoantibodies) is independent of antigen driven response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-insulin antibodies
  • Natural autoantibodies
  • Polyclonal activation
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

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