Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.Arthritis, Rheumatoid: A chronic systemic disease, primarily of the joints, marked by inflammatory changes in the synovial membranes and articular structures, widespread fibrinoid degeneration of the collagen fibers in mesenchymal tissues, and by atrophy and rarefaction of bony structures. Etiology is unknown, but autoimmune mechanisms have been implicated.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Peptides, Cyclic: Peptides whose amino and carboxy ends are linked together with a peptide bond forming a circular chain. Some of them are ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS. Some of them are biosynthesized non-ribosomally (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NON-RIBOSOMAL).Cryoglobulins: Abnormal immunoglobulins, especially IGG or IGM, that precipitate spontaneously when SERUM is cooled below 37 degrees Celsius. It is characteristic of CRYOGLOBULINEMIA.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Cryoglobulinemia: A condition characterized by the presence of abnormal quantities of CRYOGLOBULINS in the blood. Upon cold exposure, these abnormal proteins precipitate into the microvasculature leading to restricted blood flow in the exposed areas.Antibodies, Antinuclear: Autoantibodies directed against various nuclear antigens including DNA, RNA, histones, acidic nuclear proteins, or complexes of these molecular elements. Antinuclear antibodies are found in systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.Latex Fixation Tests: Passive agglutination tests in which antigen is adsorbed onto latex particles which then clump in the presence of antibody specific for the adsorbed antigen. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic: Antibodies which react with the individual structural determinants (idiotopes) on the variable region of other antibodies.Nephelometry and Turbidimetry: Chemical analysis based on the phenomenon whereby light, passing through a medium with dispersed particles of a different refractive index from that of the medium, is attenuated in intensity by scattering. In turbidimetry, the intensity of light transmitted through the medium, the unscattered light, is measured. In nephelometry, the intensity of the scattered light is measured, usually, but not necessarily, at right angles to the incident light beam.Immunoglobulin A: Represents 15-20% of the human serum immunoglobulins, mostly as the 4-chain polymer in humans or dimer in other mammals. Secretory IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) is the main immunoglobulin in secretions.Immunoglobulin Idiotypes: Unique genetically-controlled determinants present on ANTIBODIES whose specificity is limited to a single group of proteins (e.g., another antibody molecule or an individual myeloma protein). The idiotype appears to represent the antigenicity of the antigen-binding site of the antibody and to be genetically codetermined with it. The idiotypic determinants have been precisely located to the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGION of both immunoglobin polypeptide chains.Rheumatoid Nodule: Subcutaneous nodules seen in 20-30% of rheumatoid arthritis patients. They may arise anywhere on the body, but are most frequently found over the bony prominences. The nodules are characterized histologically by dense areas of fibrinoid necrosis with basophilic streaks and granules, surrounded by a palisade of cells, mainly fibroblasts and histiocytes.Sjogren's Syndrome: Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease in which the salivary and lacrimal glands undergo progressive destruction by lymphocytes and plasma cells resulting in decreased production of saliva and tears. The primary form, often called sicca syndrome, involves both KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA and XEROSTOMIA. The secondary form includes, in addition, the presence of a connective tissue disease, usually rheumatoid arthritis.Synovial Fluid: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the SYNOVIAL MEMBRANE. It contains mucin, albumin, fat, and mineral salts and serves to lubricate joints.Antirheumatic Agents: Drugs that are used to treat RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.Rheumatic Diseases: Disorders of connective tissue, especially the joints and related structures, characterized by inflammation, degeneration, or metabolic derangement.Precipitins: Antibodies which elicit IMMUNOPRECIPITATION when combined with antigen.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.ArthritisImmunoglobulin Fc Fragments: Crystallizable fragments composed of the carboxy-terminal halves of both IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fc fragments contain the carboxy-terminal parts of the heavy chain constant regions that are responsible for the effector functions of an immunoglobulin (COMPLEMENT fixation, binding to the cell membrane via FC RECEPTORS, and placental transport). This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme PAPAIN.Blood Sedimentation: Measurement of rate of settling of erythrocytes in anticoagulated blood.CitrullineCross Reactions: Serological reactions in which an antiserum against one antigen reacts with a non-identical but closely related antigen.HLA-DR4 Antigen: An HLA-DR antigen which is associated with HLA-DRB1 CHAINS encoded by DRB1*04 alleles.Complement Fixation Tests: Serologic tests based on inactivation of complement by the antigen-antibody complex (stage 1). Binding of free complement can be visualized by addition of a second antigen-antibody system such as red cells and appropriate red cell antibody (hemolysin) requiring complement for its completion (stage 2). Failure of the red cells to lyse indicates that a specific antigen-antibody reaction has taken place in stage 1. If red cells lyse, free complement is present indicating no antigen-antibody reaction occurred in stage 1.gamma-Globulins: Serum globulins that migrate to the gamma region (most positively charged) upon ELECTROPHORESIS. At one time, gamma-globulins came to be used as a synonym for immunoglobulins since most immunoglobulins are gamma globulins and conversely most gamma globulins are immunoglobulins. But since some immunoglobulins exhibit an alpha or beta electrophoretic mobility, that usage is in decline.False Positive Reactions: Positive test results in subjects who do not possess the attribute for which the test is conducted. The labeling of healthy persons as diseased when screening in the detection of disease. (Last, A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Complement C1: The first complement component to act in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. It is a calcium-dependent trimolecular complex made up of three subcomponents: COMPLEMENT C1Q; COMPLEMENT C1R; and COMPLEMENT C1S at 1:2:2 ratios. When the intact C1 binds to at least two antibodies (involving C1q), C1r and C1s are sequentially activated, leading to subsequent steps in the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION.Arthritis, Juvenile: Arthritis of children, with onset before 16 years of age. The terms juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) refer to classification systems for chronic arthritis in children. Only one subtype of juvenile arthritis (polyarticular-onset, rheumatoid factor-positive) clinically resembles adult rheumatoid arthritis and is considered its childhood equivalent.Antibody Specificity: The property of antibodies which enables them to react with some ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS and not with others. Specificity is dependent on chemical composition, physical forces, and molecular structure at the binding site.Arthrography: Roentgenography of a joint, usually after injection of either positive or negative contrast medium.Hemagglutination Tests: Sensitive tests to measure certain antigens, antibodies, or viruses, using their ability to agglutinate certain erythrocytes. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Endocarditis, Subacute Bacterial: ENDOCARDIUM infection that is usually caused by STREPTOCOCCUS. Subacute infective endocarditis evolves over weeks and months with modest toxicity and rare metastatic infection.HLA-DRB1 Chains: A subtype of HLA-DRB beta chains that includes over one hundred allele variants. The HLA-DRB1 subtype is associated with several of the HLA-DR SEROLOGICAL SUBTYPES.Synovitis: Inflammation of a synovial membrane. It is usually painful, particularly on motion, and is characterized by a fluctuating swelling due to effusion within a synovial sac. (Dorland, 27th ed)Immunoglobulin Allotypes: Allelic variants of the immunoglobulin light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) or heavy chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) encoded by ALLELES of IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES.Immunoglobulin Gm Allotypes: Allelic variants of the gamma-immunoglobulin heavy chain (IMMUNOGLOBULIN GAMMA-CHAINS) encoded by ALLELES of IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES.Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous: Disorder characterized by a vasculitic syndrome associated with exposure to an antigen such as a drug, infectious agent, or other foreign or endogenous substance. Its pathophysiology includes immune complex deposition and a wide range of skin lesions. Hypersensitivity or allergy is present in some but not all cases.HLA-DR Antigens: A subclass of HLA-D antigens that consist of alpha and beta chains. The inheritance of HLA-DR antigens differs from that of the HLA-DQ ANTIGENS and HLA-DP ANTIGENS.Complement Activating Enzymes: Enzymes that activate one or more COMPLEMENT PROTEINS in the complement system leading to the formation of the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX, an important response in host defense. They are enzymes in the various COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION pathways.Autoimmune Diseases: Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides.Immunoglobulins: Multi-subunit proteins which function in IMMUNITY. They are produced by B LYMPHOCYTES from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES. They are comprised of two heavy (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) and two light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) with additional ancillary polypeptide chains depending on their isoforms. The variety of isoforms include monomeric or polymeric forms, and transmembrane forms (B-CELL ANTIGEN RECEPTORS) or secreted forms (ANTIBODIES). They are divided by the amino acid sequence of their heavy chains into five classes (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; IMMUNOGLOBULIN D; IMMUNOGLOBULIN E; IMMUNOGLOBULIN G; IMMUNOGLOBULIN M) and various subclasses.Staphylococcal Protein A: A protein present in the cell wall of most Staphylococcus aureus strains. The protein selectively binds to the Fc region of human normal and myeloma-derived IMMUNOGLOBULIN G. It elicits antibody activity and may cause hypersensitivity reactions due to histamine release; has also been used as cell surface antigen marker and in the clinical assessment of B lymphocyte function.Joints: Also known as articulations, these are points of connection between the ends of certain separate bones, or where the borders of other bones are juxtaposed.Collagen Diseases: Historically, a heterogeneous group of acute and chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, progressive systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis, etc. This classification was based on the notion that "collagen" was equivalent to "connective tissue", but with the present recognition of the different types of collagen and the aggregates derived from them as distinct entities, the term "collagen diseases" now pertains exclusively to those inherited conditions in which the primary defect is at the gene level and affects collagen biosynthesis, post-translational modification, or extracellular processing directly. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1494)Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.B-Lymphocytes: Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation.Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains: The largest of polypeptide chains comprising immunoglobulins. They contain 450 to 600 amino acid residues per chain, and have molecular weights of 51-72 kDa.Immunoglobulin Variable Region: That region of the immunoglobulin molecule that varies in its amino acid sequence and composition, and comprises the binding site for a specific antigen. It is located at the N-terminus of the Fab fragment of the immunoglobulin. It includes hypervariable regions (COMPLEMENTARITY DETERMINING REGIONS) and framework regions.Binding Sites, Antibody: Local surface sites on antibodies which react with antigen determinant sites on antigens (EPITOPES.) They are formed from parts of the variable regions of FAB FRAGMENTS.Joint DiseasesFelty Syndrome: A rare complication of rheumatoid arthritis with autoimmune NEUTROPENIA; and SPLENOMEGALY.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.Complement C1q: A subcomponent of complement C1, composed of six copies of three polypeptide chains (A, B, and C), each encoded by a separate gene (C1QA; C1QB; C1QC). This complex is arranged in nine subunits (six disulfide-linked dimers of A and B, and three disulfide-linked homodimers of C). C1q has binding sites for antibodies (the heavy chain of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G or IMMUNOGLOBULIN M). The interaction of C1q and immunoglobulin activates the two proenzymes COMPLEMENT C1R and COMPLEMENT C1S, thus initiating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION via the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Syphilis, Congenital: Syphilis acquired in utero and manifested by any of several characteristic tooth (Hutchinson's teeth) or bone malformations and by active mucocutaneous syphilis at birth or shortly thereafter. Ocular and neurologic changes may also occur.Immunoglobulin Isotypes: The classes of immunoglobulins found in any species of animal. In man there are nine classes that migrate in five different groups in electrophoresis; they each consist of two light and two heavy protein chains, and each group has distinguishing structural and functional properties.Complement Activation: The sequential activation of serum COMPLEMENT PROTEINS to create the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Factors initiating complement activation include ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY COMPLEXES, microbial ANTIGENS, or cell surface POLYSACCHARIDES.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Severity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Complement System Proteins: Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION that creates the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; and LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY).Complement C3: A glycoprotein that is central in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C3 can be cleaved into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, spontaneously at low level or by C3 CONVERTASE at high level. The smaller fragment C3a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of local inflammatory process. The larger fragment C3b binds with C3 convertase to form C5 convertase.Mice, Inbred MRL lpr: A mouse substrain that is genetically predisposed to the development of systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, which has been found to be clinically similar to the human disease. It has been determined that this mouse strain carries a mutation in the fas gene. Also, the MRL/lpr is a useful model to study behavioral and cognitive deficits found in autoimmune diseases and the efficacy of immunosuppressive agents.Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 22: A subtype of non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases that is characterized by the presence of an N-terminal catalytic domain and a C-terminal PROLINE-rich domain. The phosphatase subtype is predominantly expressed in LYMPHOCYTES and plays a key role in the inhibition of downstream T-LYMPHOCYTE activation. Polymorphisms in the gene that encodes this phosphatase subtype are associated with a variety of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.Hybridomas: Cells artificially created by fusion of activated lymphocytes with neoplastic cells. The resulting hybrid cells are cloned and produce pure MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES or T-cell products, identical to those produced by the immunologically competent parent cell.Immunoglobulin Light Chains: Polypeptide chains, consisting of 211 to 217 amino acid residues and having a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa. There are two major types of light chains, kappa and lambda. Two Ig light chains and two Ig heavy chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) make one immunoglobulin molecule.Complement C4: A glycoprotein that is important in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. C4 is cleaved by the activated COMPLEMENT C1S into COMPLEMENT C4A and COMPLEMENT C4B.Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains: One of the types of light chains of the immunoglobulins with a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa.Connective Tissue Diseases: A heterogeneous group of disorders, some hereditary, others acquired, characterized by abnormal structure or function of one or more of the elements of connective tissue, i.e., collagen, elastin, or the mucopolysaccharides.Rubella virus: The type (and only) species of RUBIVIRUS causing acute infection in humans, primarily children and young adults. Humans are the only natural host. A live, attenuated vaccine is available for prophylaxis.Autoantigens: Endogenous tissue constituents that have the ability to interact with AUTOANTIBODIES and cause an immune response.Genes, Immunoglobulin: Genes encoding the different subunits of the IMMUNOGLOBULINS, for example the IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN GENES and the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES. The heavy and light immunoglobulin genes are present as gene segments in the germline cells. The completed genes are created when the segments are shuffled and assembled (B-LYMPHOCYTE GENE REARRANGEMENT) during B-LYMPHOCYTE maturation. The gene segments of the human light and heavy chain germline genes are symbolized V (variable), J (joining) and C (constant). The heavy chain germline genes have an additional segment D (diversity).Blood Protein DisordersFluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.