Serum IgG Subclasses in Autoimmune Diseases

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Abstract

To characterize serum IgG subclass levels in several autoimmune diseases, including primary Sjogren syndrome (pSS), systemic sclerosis (SSc), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). We aimed to analyze serum IgG subclass distribution and to test whether serum IgG4 levels are elevated in these diseases.

Serum IgG subclass levels from 102 pSS, 102 SSc, 100 SLE, and 59 PBC patients, as well as 40 healthy controls (HCs), were measured using the immunonephelometric assay. The distribution of IgG subclasses among these autoimmune diseases was analyzed.

In this cross-sectional study, serum IgG1 (IgG1/IgG) and/or IgG3 (IgG3/IgG) were significantly increased, compared with those in HCs. Only 6.34% of patients had levels of serum IgG4 >135 mg/dL. There were no significant differences in the frequency of elevated serum IgG4 levels between patients and HC. In pSS, serum IgG1 levels were much higher than those in other disease groups, whereas serum IgG2 and IgG3 levels were most prominently increased in PBC.

A strikingly different serum IgG subclass distribution was detected in patients with autoimmune diseases compared with HCs. Serum IgG subclass levels also showed distinct characteristics among different autoimmune diseases. Serum IgG4 levels in these patients were lower or not much higher than those in HCs, which differed from IgG4-related diseases.

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