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Anti-double stranded DNA antibodies (anti-dsDNA) are a hallmark of SLE but their role in disease pathogenesis is not fully resolved. Anti-dsDNA in serum are highly heterogeneous therefore in this study, we aimed to dissect the functional specificities of anti-dsDNA using a panel of human monoclonal antibodies (humAbs) generated from patients with active lupus nephritis. A total of 46 ANA reactive humAbs were isolated and divided into four broad classes based on their reactivity to histones, DNA and Crithidia. Functional analysis indicated that one subclass of antibodies bound strongly to decondensed DNA areas in neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and protected NETs from nuclease digestion, similar to the sera from active SLE patients. In addition, these anti-dsDNA antibodies could stimulate type I interferon responses in mononuclear phagocytic cells, or NF-kB activity in endothelial cells, by uptake of NETs-anti-NETs immune complexes and subsequently trigging inflammatory responses in an Fc-gamma receptor (Fcg-R)-dependant manner. Together our data suggest that only a subset of anti-dsDNA antibodies is capable to amplify inflammatory responses by deposit in the nephritic kidney in vivo, protecting NETs digestion as well as uptake of NETs immune complexes into Fcg-R-expressing cells in vitro.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell death & disease

Publication Date





Division of Immunology and Inflammation, Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London, W12 0NN, UK.


Animals, Humans, Mice, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Disease Models, Animal, Inflammation, Autoantibodies, Transfection, Cell Death