Background: Nuclear antigen released from central nervous system (CNS) cells undergoing destruction may induce production of antinuclear antibodies (ANA). We characterized the CNS-specific production of ANA in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: We assessed CNS-ANA binding to mouse cerebellar cell nuclei by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) with sera from 104 MS patients (91 relapsing-remitting; 13 secondary progressive), 30 patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD), and 30 healthy controls (HCs). Conventional ANA (cANA) was detected by IFA using human epithelial type-2 cells. CNS-ANA-positive cANA-negative patients were termed CNS-specific ANA-positive. Western blotting (WB) was performed using mouse cerebellar nuclear fractions. Results: CNS-specific ANA were more frequent in MS than in NMOSD patients or HCs (13.5% vs 0% for both comparisons, both p < .05) and were associated with HLA-DRB1*15:01 (p = .0174). WB revealed a common 55 kDa band in seven MS patients. Compared with CNS-specific ANA-negative MS patients, those with 55 kDa band-immunoreactive CNS-specific ANA showed a higher frequency of secondary progressive MS (42.9% vs 10.0%, p = .0387) and greater Expanded Disability Status Scale scores (4.50 ± 2.02 vs 2.92 ± 2.27, p = .0506). Conclusions: The CNS-specific ANA was more frequently detected in MS patients than NMOSD patients or HCs. 55 kDa band-reactive CNS-specific ANA may reflect clinical disease progression in MS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology