Autoantibodies against MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A are associated with increased risk of concomitant autoimmune diseases in celiac patients
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AuthorLópez Vázquez, Antonio; Mozo, Lourdes; Alonso Arias, Rebeca; Suárez Álvarez, Beatriz; Vidal Castiñeira, José Ramón; Arranz, Eduardo; Volta, Umberto; Bousoño, Carlos; López Hoyos, Marcos; Rodrigo, Luis; López Larrea, Carlos
Background: Overexpression of autologous proteins can lead to the formation of autoantibodies and autoimmune diseases. MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA) is highly expressed in the enterocytes of patients with celiac disease, which arises in response to gluten. The aim of this study was to investigate anti-MICA antibody formation in patients with celiac disease and its association with other autoimmune processes. Methods: We tested serum samples from 383 patients with celiac disease, obtained before they took up a gluten-free diet, 428 patients with diverse autoimmune diseases, and 200 controls for anti-MICA antibodies. All samples were also tested for anti-endomysium and anti-transglutaminase antibodies. Results: Antibodies against MICA were detected in samples from 41.7% of patients with celiac disease but in only 3.5% of those from controls (P <0.0001) and 8.2% from patients with autoimmune disease (P <0.0001). These antibodies disappeared after the instauration of a gluten-free diet. Anti-MICA antibodies were significantly prevalent in younger patients (P <0.01). Fifty-eight patients with celiac disease (15.1%) presented a concomitant autoimmune disease. Anti-MICA-positive patients had a higher risk of autoimmune disease than MICA antibody-negative patients (P <0.0001; odds ratio = 6.11). The risk was even higher when we also controlled for age (odds ratio = 11.69). Finally, we found that the associated risk of developing additional autoimmune diseases was 16 and 10 times as high in pediatric patients and adults with anti-MICA, respectively, as in those without. Conclusions: The development of anti-MICA antibodies could be related to a gluten-containing diet, and seems to be involved in the development of autoimmune diseases in patients with celiac disease, especially younger ones.