Ro antibody

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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SS-A antibodies; SSA antibody

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Heterogeneous antibody complex consisting of autoantibodies against a 52 and 60 kDa nuclear protein.

General information
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Anti-Ro/SSA is considered a relatively specific autoantibody for various autoimmune diseases, especially:

HLA-DR3 is associated with anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies.

Patients with C2 and C4 deficiencies tend to produce anti-Ro/SSA antibodies without detection of anti-La/SSB antibodies.

Anti-Ro/SSA antibodies are found irregularly in the following diseases:

  • polymositis/dermatomyositis
  • Non-erosive arthropathy (Jaccoud arthropathy)
  • Late-Onset-SLE
  • Neonatal lupus erythematosus.

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Detection in 30-40% of cases of systemic lupus erythematosus and 60-70% of cases of Sjögren's syndrome. RO-antibodies are particularly important in neonatal lupus erythematosus in combination with a congenital heart block caused by expression of the FSA antigen in the excitation conduction system. In 70-80% of patients with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, Ro/SS-A antibodies are detectable and simultaneously associated with increased light sensitivity. UV exposure leads to induction of SS-A on keratinocytes.

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RO = Patient initials

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  1. Arbuckle MR et al (2003) Development of autoantibodies before the clinical onset of systemic lupus erythematosus. N Engl J Med 349: 1526-1533
  2. Franceschini F et al (2005) Anti-Ro/SSA and La/SSB abtibodies. Autoimmunity 38: 55-63
  3. Furukawa F et al (1990) Binding of antibodies to the extractable nuclear antigens SS-A/Ro and SS-B/La is induced on the surface of human keratinocytes by ultraviolet light (UVL): implications for the pathogenesis of photosensitive cutaneous lupus. J Invest Dermatol 94: 77-85
  4. Ho KT et al (2003) The clinical relevance of autoantibodies in scleroderma. Arthritis Res Ther 5: 80-93
  5. Popovic K et al (2006) Fine specifity of the Ro/SSa antoantibody response in relation to serological and clinical findings in 96 patients with self-reported cutaneous symptoms induced by the sun. Lupus 16: 10-17


Last updated on: 29.10.2020