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Yonsei Med J. 2006 Dec 31;47(6):773-81.

Cytokeratin autoantibodies: useful serologic markers for toluene diisocyanate-induced asthma.

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Department of Allergy and Rheumatology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea.


To evaluate the clinical significance of autoantibodies to three major epithelial cytokeratins (CK)--CK8, CK18, and CK19--we compared 66 patients with toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-induced asthma (group I) with three control groups: 169 asymptomatic exposed subjects (group II), 64 patients with allergic asthma (group III), and 123 unexposed healthy subjects (group IV). Serum IgG, specific for human recombinant CKs, were measured by ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay), and ELISA inhibition tests were performed. The existence of these antibodies was confirmed by IgG immunoblot analysis. Anti-TDI-HSA (human serum albumin) IgE and IgG antibodies were measured by ELISA in the same set of the patients. The prevalence of CK8, CK18, and CK19 auotantibodies in group I was significantly higher than in the other three groups. Results of the ELISA inhibition test showed significant inhibition with the addition of three CKs in a dose-dependent manner. No significant association was found between CK autoantibodies and the prevalence of anti- TDI-HSA IgG and IgE antibodies. These results suggest that autoantibodies to CK18 and CK19 can be used as serologic markers for identifying patients with TDI-induced asthma among exposed workers.

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