Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2003 Feb;131(2):275-9.

High positive frequency of antibodies to metallothionein and heat shock protein 70 in sera of patients with metal allergy.

Author information

Department of Geriatric Medicine and Department of Bioregulatory Function, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Two principal types of stress protein, heat shock proteins (hsps) and metallothionein (MT), are induced in cells responding to a variety of stresses. They play an important role in protecting cells from these stresses. However, many reports indicate that antibodies to hsps are present in human serum and are associated with several autoimmunity diseases. Metals, which are commonly allergenic to humans, induce both MT and hsp70 (one of the hsps family). Until now, there has been no report of any antibody to MT in human serum. In the present study, serum samples from healthy controls (Group I), and patients suffering from atopic dermatitis without (Group II) or with (Group III) metal allergy, were measured for antibodies to MT and hsp70, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Metal allergy was confirmed by patch testing. We first found that antibody to MT exists in human serum. We also found a high positive frequency of antibody to MT (51.3%) and to hsp70 (43.6%) in the sera of Group III, compared to those of Group I (3.8% and 5.1%) or Group II (6.4% and 5.1%). Furthermore, there was a strong positive correlation between antibody to MT and antibody to hsp70 in Group III (P = 0.0013), but not in Group I and Group II. Our results indicate that antibody to MT exists in human serum, as do antibodies to hsps, and suggest that elevated levels of MT and hsp70 antibodies are associated with metal allergy in atopic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center