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A comprehensive analysis of antigen-specific autoimmune liver disease related autoantibodies in patients with multiple sclerosis

  • Tsouris, Zisis1
  • Liaskos, Christos2
  • Dardiotis, Efthymios1
  • Scheper, Thomas3
  • Tsimourtou, Vana1
  • Meyer, Wolfgang3
  • Hadjigeorgiou, George1, 4
  • Bogdanos, Dimitrios P.2
  • 1 University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece , Larissa (Greece)
  • 2 University of Thessaly, Biopolis, Larissa, 40500, Greece , Biopolis (Greece)
  • 3 Affiliated to EUROIMMUN AG, Lubeck, Germany , Lubeck (Germany)
  • 4 University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus , Nicosia (Cyprus)
Published Article
Autoimmunity Highlights
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Apr 10, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13317-020-00130-4
Springer Nature


IntroductionAbnormal liver function tests are frequently seen in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their origin at times is attributed to the possible co-occurrence or the de novo induction of autoimmune liver diseases (AILD), namely autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but comprehensive analysis of AILD-related autoantibody has not been carried out.AimTo assess the presence of AILD-related autoantibodies in a well-defined cohort of MS patients, and to assess their clinical significance.Materials and methods133 MS (93 female) patients (102 RRMS, 27 SPMS, and 5 PPMS), mean age 42.7 ± 11.9 SD years, mean duration of disease 11.2 ± 7.2 years were studied. 150 age and sex-matched healthy individuals were tested as normal controls (NCs).Autoantibody testing was performed by indirect immunofluorescence (IF) using triple tissue and HEp-2, a multiparametric line immunoassay detecting anti-LKM1(anti-CYP2D6), anti-LC1(anti-FTCD), soluble liver antigen/liver-pancreas(anti-SLA/LP), AMA-M2, and AMA-MIT3 (BPO), PBC-specific ANA (anti-gp210, anti-sp100 and anti-PML), and ELISA for anti-F-actin SMA and anti-dsDNA antibodies.ResultsReactivity to at least one autoantibody was more frequent in MS patients compared to NCs (30/133, 22.6% vs 12/150, 8%) NCs (p = 0.00058). SMAs by IIF were more frequent in MS patients (18/133, 13.53%) compared to NCs (6/150, 4%, p = 0.002%). The AIH-1 related anti-F-actin SMA by ELISA were present in 21 (15.8%), at relatively low titres (all but three of the SMA-VG pattern by IF); anti-dsDNA in 3 (2.3%), and anti-SLA/LP in none; AIH-2 anti-LKM1 autoantibodies in 1 (0.8%, negative by IF), and anti-LC1 in none; PBC-specific AMA-M2 in 2 (1.5%, both negative for AMA-MIT3 and AMA by IF) and PBC-specific ANA anti-PML in 6 (4.5%), anti-sp100 in 1 (0.8%) and anti-gp210 in 1 (0.8%). Amongst the 30 MS patients with at least one autoantibody positivity, only 4 (3%) had overt AILD (2 AIH-1 and 2 PBC). Autoantibody positivity did not differ between naïve MS patients and patients under treatment.ConclusionsDespite the relatively frequent presence of liver autoantibodies, tested either by IF or molecular assays, overt AILD is rather infrequent discouraging autoantibody screening strategies of MS patients in the absence of clinical suspicion.

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