Sera from patients with autoimmune diseases do not have circulating IgA antibodies against tissue transglutaminase

Sardy, M., Csikos, M., Geisen, C., Preisz, K., Kornsee, Z., Tomsits, E., Tox, U., Wieslander, J., Karpati, S., Paulsson, M. and Smyth, N. (2004) Sera from patients with autoimmune diseases do not have circulating IgA antibodies against tissue transglutaminase. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 123, p.A66. (doi:10.1111/j.1523-1747.2004.23244.x).


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After the identification of tissue transglutaminase (TGc) as the predominant endomysial
autoantigen of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, diagnostic ELISAs were
produced. Sera from patients with a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases or with nonautoimmune
diseases involving enhanced apoptosis, cell lysis and/or putative secondary
autoimmune processes showed false positive reactions in these assays, as detected by a
number of investigators. Sera from 605 patients and controls were tested in a human TGc
ELISA including 304 patients with autoimmune and 122 with other diseases. Anti-gliadin and
anti-endomysium antibodies were also determined in 70 patients chosen at random.
Overall 49% of all autoimmune sera were false positive in the human TGc ELISA. The
difference between the median titers of the autoimmune and the control sera was significant
in every case except for the pemphigus vulgaris sera (bullous pemphigoid, p¼0.012;
pemphigus vulgaris, p¼0.152; SLE, p¼0.0005; antiphospholipid syndrome, p¼0.0002; for
each of the other groups po0.0001). Significant differences were also found in serum titers
between controls and patients with hepatitis C (po0.0001), psoriatic arthritis (p¼0.0065),
and malignancies (p¼0.0005). Altogether 25% of the sera from patients with hepatitis C,
psoriatic arthritis, and malignancies were positive in the human TGc ELISA. In contrast,
testing 70 of the false positive patients for total serum IgA levels, AGA and EMA reactivity as
well as immunoblots showed that no association of these conditions with gluten sensitive
enteropathy can be confirmed. However, further purification of the TGc protein preparation
used for coating and elevation of ionic strength in the buffers could eliminate false positive

The currently used method for TGc ELISA allows nonspecific positivity of certain sera from
patients having circulating IgA of high affinity against impurities. Thus it is evident that
positivity of a TGc ELISA should not alone be taken as the basis for a diagnosis of coeliac
disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1523-1747.2004.23244.x
ISSNs: 0022-202X (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 56406
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
August 2004Published
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:36

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