Autoantibodies to dense fine speckles in pediatric diseases and controls

Heinrike Schmeling, Michael Mahler, Deborah M. Levy, Katharine Moore, Anne M. Stevens, James Wick, Jacob D. McMillan, Gerd Horneff, Shervin Assassi, Julio Charles, Gloria Salazar, Maureen D. Mayes, Earl D. Silverman, Marissa Klien-Gitelman, Tzelan Lee, Hermine I. Brunner, Ann M. Reed, Marvin J. Fritzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective. Autoantibodies to the dense fine speckled 70 kDa antigen (DFS70) are reported to be more common in individuals who do not have an antinuclear antibody (ANA)-associated rheumatic disease (AARD) than in patients with AARD. The frequency of anti-DFS70 antibodies has been thoroughly studied in adult but not in pediatric populations. The primary objective of this observational study was to determine the frequency of anti-DFS70 in pediatric AARD and reference cohorts. Methods. Sera from 743 children with AARD and related conditions, and 345 samples from reference cohorts (healthy children and those being investigated for AARD) were studied for anti-DFS70 autoantibodies as measured by a chemiluminescence immunoassay. A de-identified administrative database was used to retrieve demographic, serologic, and clinical data. Results. Anti-DFS70 antibodies were seen in 2.1% of healthy children and in 4.5% of sera from pediatric individuals referred for ANA testing. The frequency of anti-DFS70 was highest in juvenile localized scleroderma (LS; 4/29, 13.8%), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM; 2/11, 18.2%), childhood systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE; 19/331, 5.7%), diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (1/22, 4.5%), celiac disease (2/49, 4.1%), and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; 5/202, 2.5%). Of note, anti-DFS70 antibodies were observed in 3/26 children (11.5%) with uveitis and JIA-associated uveitis. Conclusion. The frequency of anti-DFS70 autoantibodies in healthy pediatric subjects is within the lower range of that reported in adults. Anti-DFS70 antibodies can be found in childhood SSc and cSLE, but has a remarkably high frequency in children with LS, JDM, and uveitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2419-2426
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Antinuclear antibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Dense fine speckles
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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