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J Invest Dermatol. 2008 Feb;128(2):332-5. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

Transglutaminase autoantibodies in dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac sprue.

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Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is an autoimmune blistering skin disorder that is associated with intestinal gluten sensitivity. Epidermal transglutaminase (TGe) and closely related tissue transglutaminase (tTG) are considered to be autoantigens in DH, because a majority of DH patients have IgA specific for TGe and for tTG. It is unknown where and how these autoantigen-specific IgAs are generated in DH. Results reported in this paper on nine DH patients on a gluten containing diet demonstrate that the levels of circulating anti-tTG IgA and anti-TGe IgA in DH are correlated with each other and that both appear to be correlated with the degree (extent) of enteropathy. An analysis of 15 untreated celiac sprue (CS) patients demonstrated that approximately 33% of CS patients had elevated levels of anti-TGe IgA. These results would indicate that intestinal damage is associated with the production of anti-tTG IgA and anti-TGe IgA in DH patients.

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