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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Autoimmune Diseases and Antinuclear Antibody Testing: Methods and Staining Patterns. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Nuclear Membrane (AC-11)

This is an example of an unusual ANA pattern called nuclear membrane.

This pattern is characterized by smooth staining in the nucleus of the interphase cells (a). The nucleoli may or may not stain. Notice however the chromosomal area of the metaphase mitotic cells is negative (b). Upon closer examination also notice the staining of folds in the nuclear membrane (c).

Follow-up testing is not required for this pattern. Possible antigens include nuclear lamins A, B or C, nuclear pore complex and gp210. These antibodies are generally seen in autoimmune liver diseases.

This pattern is reported as "ANA positive, Nuclear Membrane; titering is necessary."

Unusual Homogeneous - Nuclear Membrane (Envelope)

Interphase cells:

  • Smooth staining of entire nucleus
  • Brighter staining at the periphery of the nucleus
  • May notice wrinkles in nuclear envelope

Metaphase mitotic cells:

  • No staining in the chromosome region
  • Region outside of the chromosome area will stain with variable intensity