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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Food antigens, IgA-immune complexes and IgA mesangial nephropathy.

To investigate whether patients with IgA nephropathy have an exaggerated serum IgA response to ubiquitous food antigens we measured serum IgA antibodies to gliadin, ovalbumin, bovine serum albumin ( BSA), beta-lactoglobulin and casein in 120 patients and 53 normal controls, using ELISA. No significant differences were observed between patients and controls in serum IgA antibodies against each of the antigens tested. Moreover, no correlation was found between serum IgA antibodies and IgA-immune complexes (IgA CIC). However, nine patients but no controls had an association of two or more IgA antibodies to dietary antigens. Sixty-six per cent of these patients (vs 24% in the remaining population) had IgA CIC, suggesting a possible involvement of these antibodies in the constitution of IgA CIC. Analysis of sera by HPLC revealed that both monomeric and higher molecular forms of IgA antibodies were present, the latter being coincident with the peak of IgA CIC. Preincubation of sera with serial concentrations of the specific antigen decreased significantly IgA CIC, suggesting that in this subgroup of patients IgA antibodies to food antigens (mainly BSA) are involved in the formation of IgA CIC. BSA-containing IgA CIC were in fact demonstrated by ELISA using rabbit IgG anti- BSA coated plates and peroxidase-conjugated anti-human IgA. The role of these CIC in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy needs to be further elucidated.[1]


  1. Food antigens, IgA-immune complexes and IgA mesangial nephropathy. Fornasieri, A., Sinico, R.A., Maldifassi, P., Paterna, L., Benuzzi, S., Colasanti, G., D'Amico, G. Nephrol. Dial. Transplant. (1988) [Pubmed]
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