A defining feature of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is the presence of antibodies against the U1-ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, but other autoantibodies in MCTD have recently been described. Research has also further elucidated the immune responses directed against U1-RNP in humans and in murine models of disease. Hypotheses implicating modified self-antigens and/or infectious agents in the pathogenesis of MCTD have been advanced. Links between the immunologic and clinical phenomena in MCTD are emerging. Longitudinal study of patients with MCTD highlights the impact of pulmonary hypertension on disease outcome. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.
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