Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 500–505 | Cite as

Co-Occurrence of IgA Antibodies Against Ethanol Metabolites and Tissue Transglutaminase in Alcohol Consumers: Correlation with Proinflammatory Cytokines and Markers of Fibrogenesis

  • Heidi Koivisto
  • Johanna Hietala
  • Petra Anttila
  • Onni Niemelä
Original Paper


IgA antibodies to tissue transglutaminase have been suggested to be specific indicators of celiac disease. However, no studies have addressed the relationships between such antibodies and alcohol abuse, which is also a common cause of IgA-isotype immune responses and tissue injury in the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Here, measurements of specific IgAs against tissue transglutaminase and proteins modified by acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of ethanol, showed significantly higher levels of both antibodies in alcoholic liver disease patients than in healthy controls or heavy drinkers without liver disease. These antibodies also significantly co-occurred in heavy drinkers without liver disease, moderate drinkers, and abstainers, and correlated with biomarkers of alcohol consumption, proinflammatory cytokines and markers of fibrogenesis. The data suggests a link between such immune responses, perturbations in cytokine profiles and fibrogenesis, which should be implicated in studies on the pathogenesis and diagnosis of ethanol-induced tissue injury and celiac disease.


Alcohol Autoimmunity Celiac disease Gut Liver disease 



The studies were supported in part by the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Koivisto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johanna Hietala
    • 1
    • 2
  • Petra Anttila
    • 1
    • 2
  • Onni Niemelä
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Research Unit and Department of Laboratory MedicineSeinäjoki Central HospitalSeinajokiFinland
  2. 2.University of TampereTampereFinland

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