A Tanned red cell method was used to demonstrate antibodies to ribosomes in the sera of patients with connective tissue disease. Anti-ribosomal antibodies were detected in 43% of the patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, 36% of Sjogren's syndrome, 13% of progressive systemic sclerosis and 11% of dermatomyositis. In addition, 30% of patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis had these antibodies. No antibodies were detected in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. High titers (more than 1:2560) of anti-ribosomal antibodies were found only in lupus patients who had less frequency of renal involvement, but had cutaneous manifestation. The ribosomes showed heterogeneic antigenicity to digestion with RNase or with trypsin. There was no correlation between the presence of anti-ribosomal antibodies and other serological abnormal findings. By antibody elution studies, anti-ribosomal antibodies were detected in 4 of 7 glomerular eluates obtained from lupus kidneys taken at autopsy.