Elevated IgA anti-gliadin antibodies in juvenile chronic arthritis

G. Pellegrini, M. S. Scotta, S. Soardo, M. A. Avanzini, A. Ravelli, G. R. Burgio, A. Martini

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Increased intestinal permeability secondary to treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and raised levels of anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) have been reported in adults with rheumatoid arthritis. We have therefore retrospectively investigated the presence of serum AGA of the IgA and IgG classes in 70 patients with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). Serum IgA (but not IgG) AGA were found to be higher in JCA patients that in controls (6.2 ± 8.7 vs 2.1 ± 1.5 AU/ml; p <0.0001). This finding was observed independently of the JCA onset subtype or disease activity; however, lower levels of IgA AGA were found in patients with pauciarticular JCA and in those in remission. No significant differences in IgA AGA serum levels were observed between untreated patients and patients treated with NSAIDs. Five patients who presented the highest levels of IgA AGA were further studied a second time; serum IgA AGA were found to be markedly reduced or normalized and no clinical or laboratory evidence of coexistent coeliac disease was observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that the elevation of IgA AGA seen in our patients is secondary to non-specific immune stimulation rather than to an NSAID-induced increase in intestinal permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-656
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology


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