Lupus Anticoagulant in Gulf War Illness and Autoimmune Disorders: A Common Pathway Toward Autoimmunity
permalinkJournal of Immunological Sciences - 2021-02-25James L, Johnson R, Lewis S, Carpenter A, Engdahl B, Krug HE, Georgopoulos APMounting evidence suggests that autoimmune mechanisms may underlie the chronic symptoms characteristic of
Gulf War Illness. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies including Lupus Anticoagulant (LA) are often associated with autoimmune disorders. Here we evaluated and compared blood samples from veterans with
GWIand veterans with other autoimmune conditions including relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sj"ogren's syndrome, and lupus for the presence of LA using Silica Clotting Time and dilute Russell's Viper Venom Time assays. Positive LA was identified in one-quarter of veterans with
GWI; this proportion was not statistically different from the proportion of positive LA identified in patients diagnosed with the other autoimmune conditions. The present findings add to the literature implicating autoimmune mechanisms in
GWIand point to the presence of prothrombotic antiphospholipid antibodies as a common contributing factor in
GWIand other autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, activation of the coagulation system suggests new potential avenues for treatment for LA-positive Gulf War veterans.