Objectives: Celiac disease is an autoimmune enteropathy caused by gluten ingestion in genetically susceptible individuals. Anti-transglutaminase autoantibody (tTGAb) assay is useful to detect candidates undergoing intestinal biopsy. Our aim was to investigate whether the DQB1*02 allele could influence tTGAb titers and the clinicopathological expressivity of the disease.
Methods: A total of 124 patients with celiac disease, tested for RIA tTGAb at diagnosis, were typed for HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 genes and divided according to the number of DQB1*02 alleles: group 1, homozygous; group 2, heterozygous; group 3, negative.
Results: The mean of tTGAb indexes was significantly higher in group 1 patients than in group 2 (P < 0.02) and group 3 patients (P < 0.01). Patients with at least 1 DQB1*02 allele showed more often a typical CD and diffuse histological lesions than did patients in the other groups.
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that tTGAb titers are HLA-DQB1*02 dose dependent, with significantly higher levels in homozygous individuals. Moreover, individuals with at least 1 HLA-DQB1*02 allele tend to have a more expressed clinical and histological form of celiac disease.
*Departments of Paediatrics, Italy
†Experimental Medicine, Italy
‡Clinical Sciences, “Sapienza” University, Rome, Italy
Received 31 May, 2007
Accepted 2 November, 2007
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof Margherita Bonamico, Department of Paediatrics, Sapienza University, V.le Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors report no conflicts of interest.