Salivary anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) mirrors serum ANA in systemic lupus erythematosus

Ting Zhang, Yong Du, Qingqing Wu, Hao Li, Thao Nguyen, Gabriel Gidley, Valeria Duran, Daniel Goldman, Michelle Petri, Chandra Mohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assay salivary anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) and its isotypes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to investigate relevant clinical associations. Methods: Saliva samples were collected from SLE patients and assayed for salivary ANA using immunofluorescence (IF). Isotypes of salivary ANA, including IgG-ANA, IgA-ANA, and IgM-ANA, were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The correlations between clinical parameters and levels of salivary ANA and isotypes were evaluated. Results: Salivary ANA IF intensities were significantly higher in SLE patients than in healthy controls, irrespective of SLE patient disease activity, and strongly correlated with serum ANA titers. Salivary ANA was detected in 67.14% of SLE patients and 10.00% of healthy controls (p < 0.001). Among ANA-positive samples, 80.85% exhibited a nuclear ANA pattern, and 42.55% exhibited a cytoplasmic ANA pattern. Salivary IgG-ANA, IgA-ANA, and IgM-ANA levels, as assayed by ELISA, were significantly increased in both active and less active SLE patients compared with healthy controls, and levels of each isotype were significantly correlated with serum ANA titer. Salivary IgM-ANA levels correlated with the physician global assessment (PGA), SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI), and negatively with serum C3 and C4. Salivary IgG-ANA also correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), SLEDAI, and negatively with serum C3. Conclusion: Salivary ANA levels correlate with serum ANA titer, and salivary IgM-ANA and IgG-ANA correlate variably with PGA, SLEDAI, ESR and complement levels. These findings underscore the potential of using salivary ANA and ANA isotypes as surrogates for serum ANA, particularly for future point-of-care applications since saliva is easier to obtain than blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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