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Antibodies to human cytomegalovirus protein UL83 in systemic sclerosis

A.M. Namboodiri, K.M. Rocca, M. Kuwana, J.P. Pandey


2006 Vol.24, N°2
PI 0176, PF 0178
Brief Papers

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PMID: 16762154 [PubMed]


To determine whether elevated levels of antibodies to HCMV protein UL83 were present in patients with SSc and if their prevalence was associated with major SSc-associated autoantibodies.
The study population consisted of 253 Caucasian subjects (110 SSc patients and 143 controls). IgG antibodies to UL83 were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibodies to centromere and RNA polymerase (RNAP) were determined by indirect immunofluorescence and immnoprecipitation methods, respectively.
The mean level of anti-UL83 antibodies in the sera of SSc patients as a whole was significantly higher than that in control subjects (14.75 vs 10.6 units/µl, p = 0.002). Both subgroups of patients contributed to this variation: compared to controls, anti-UL83 antibody levels were higher in diffuse (16.32 vs 10.6 units/µl, p = 0.012) as well as in those with the limited form of the disease (13.95 vs 10.6 units/µl, p = 0.015). Anti-UL83 antibodies were not associated with major SSc associated autoantibodies.
Humoral immunity to HCMV protein UL83 may be relevant to the etiopathogenesis of scleroderma.

Rheumatology Article