A genetic variant of the killer immunoglobulin-like receptor 3DL1 (KIR3DL1) has been found in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Herein, we investigated the presence of autoantibodies to KIR3DL1 in a cohort of patients with SLE. We tested sera from 28 patients with SLE, 11 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 17 healthy control subjects for anti-KIR3DL1 activity by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant KIR3DL1-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and EGFP proteins. Anti-KIR3DL1 antibodies were detected in 22 (79%) of the 28 patients with SLE, whereas they were present in only three (27%) of the 11 patients with RA examined. Notably, 10 (91%) of the 11 samples from patients with SLE prior to therapy had anti-KIR3DL1 antibodies. None of the samples from healthy donors were positive for the antibodies. Here, we report the presence of anti-KIR3DL1 antibodies in the sera of patients with SLE for the first time. Anti-KIR3DL1 autoantibodies may be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.
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