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Abstract

Objective. To characterize autoantibodies to chromatin components in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).

Methods. The sera of 50 children with JRA were analyzed for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) by immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques.

Results. By immunofluorescence, ANA and antibodies to high-mobility group proteins or to DNA-free histones were common in patients with pauciarticular JRA and rheumatoid factor–positive polyarticular JRA. However, reactivity with histone–DNA complexes was rare.

Conclusion. Because antihistone antibodies detected by ELISA failed to bind chromatin or other histone–DNA complexes, they are not likely to represent the immunofluorescent ANA activity in serum.