Anti-SLA/LP alone or in combination with anti-Ro52 and fine specificity of anti-Ro52 antibodies in patients with autoimmune hepatitis
AuthorZachou, K.; Gampeta, S.; Gatselis, N. K.; Oikonomou, K.; Goulis, J.; Manoussakis, M. N.; Renaudineau, Y.; Bogdanos, D. P.; Dalekos, G. N.
Background & AimsAntibodies (Abs) to soluble liver antigen/liver pancreas (anti-SLA/LP) are considered markers of worse prognosis and outcome in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) although this assumption has recently been attributed to their frequent co-expression with Abs against Ro52 (anti-Ro52). To assess the clinical significance of anti-SLA/LP Abs alone or in combination with anti-Ro52 in AIH patients and determine the immunodominant Ro52 epitopes according to the anti-SLA/LP status. MethodsTwenty-three anti-SLA/LP-positive and 106 anti-SLA/LP-negative AIH patients were included. Anti-SLA/LP were determined by ELISA using recombinant antigen, and confirmed by immunoblot using cytosolic rat liver fraction or HuH-7 extract. Anti-Ro52 Abs were determined by ELISA using recombinant antigen. Epitope mapping was assessed by ELISA using overlapping peptides covering the whole Ro52 protein in 26 AIH patients and 12 patients with Sjogren's syndrome. ResultsAnti-SLA/LP positivity was not associated with the clinical, laboratory or histological characteristics of AIH patients. Treatment response, corticosteroid withdrawal, relapse after stopping treatment and outcome, were not associated with the presence of anti-SLA/LP, anti-Ro52 or double reactivity. Moreover, Ro52 epitope mapping revealed new epitopes unique for AIH and independent from anti-SLA/LP positivity. ConclusionsNeither anti-SLA/LP nor anti-Ro52 Abs or their combination could specify a distinct group of AIH patients in terms of clinical characteristics, treatment response and outcome. Further studies are needed to clarify whether the newly discovered immunodominant epitopes of Ro52 antigen which were associated specifically with AIH have any clinical or pathogenetic significance in AIH.