Responsiveness of autoimmune and normal mice to nucleic acid antigens

M. P. Madaio, S. Hodder, R. S. Schwartz, B. D. Stollar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus citations


To test the possibility that anti-DNA antibody formation in autoimmune disease is related to an exceptional responsiveness to nucleic acid immunogens, we examined the ability of normal and autoimmune strains of mice to produce antibodies after immunization with DNA and synthetic helical DNA analogues. Autoimmune mice (MRL/++) did not respond significantly to denatured DNA-methylated BSA in adjuvant (in comparison with adjuvant alone). They did, however, respond to helical structures that differed from B-DNA, including poly-(dG).poly(dC), poly(dT-dG).poly(dC-dA), and left-handed Z-DNA. Normal mice (C57BL/6) responded to denatured DNA and, after immunization with the other polymers, produced antibodies of equal or higher titer than those of MRL/++ animals. Neither strain responded to native DNA. The induced antinucleic acid antibodies were highly selective and reacted only with the immunogen. In contrast, both lupus autoantibodies and antisera from normal animals that received adjuvant alone cross-reacted with multiple nucleic acid antigens. This result, and the finding that MRL/++ mice were poor responders to nucleic acid immunogens, suggest that different clones and pathways are involved in nucleic acid-induced and spontaneous anti-DNA antibody formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-876
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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