Expression of humoral autoimmunity is related to androgen receptor CAG repeat length in men with systemic lupus erythematosus

Alex H. Tessnow, Nancy J. Olsen, William J. Kovacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


We sought to explore whether inherited differences in androgen sensitivity conferred by variation in the length of a CAG repeat in exon 1 of the androgen receptor gene could be correlated with differing manifestations of humoral autoimmunity in men with lupus. In a sample of 15 men with lupus, AR CAG repeat length was linearly correlated with levels of antibodies against extractable nuclear antigens and with the number of diagnostic criteria for lupus. Protein microarrays were used to assess levels of 86 different IgG and IgM autoantibodies in the sera of these patients. IgG autoantibodies were more frequently observed in male lupus patients with longer AR CAG repeat length (>23), while IgM autoantibodies were more prevalent in subjects with shorter CAG repeat length (≤23). These data support a potential role for androgen signaling in the modulation of immunoglobulin class switching processes, with consequent impact on the autoimmune phenotype in men with lupus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-573
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011



  • Androgens
  • Autoimmunity
  • Genetics
  • Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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