Anti-DNA antibody synthesis by lymphocytes from normal individuals and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients was investigated. Anti-DNA antibody synthesis in response to DNA was demonstrated in SLE, but not in normal individuals. DNA was T cell-dependent antigen in anti-DNA antibody synthesis. Anti-DNA antibody synthesis by SLE lymphocytes was suppressed by T8 cells and enhanced by T4 cells in inactive stage. However, in active stage, SLE T8 cells failed to suppress anti-DNA antibody synthesis, even in any T4/T8 ratio. These results indicated that DNA-specific suppressor T cell dysfunction was in part responsible for the elevated anti-DNA antibody synthesis in SLE lymphocytes in response to DNA.
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