Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

IgA-antigliadin antibodies in IgA mesangial nephropathy (Berger's disease).

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 11 July 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:78
  1. A Fornasieri,
  2. R A Sinico,
  3. P Maldifassi,
  4. P Bernasconi,
  5. M Vegni,
  6. G D'Amico


    Circulating IgA-antigliadin antibodies were detected with enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in four of 121 patients (3%) who had IgA mesangial nephropathy and 14 of 17 children (82%) who had untreated coeliac disease. No positive cases were present in the 54 healthy subjects of the control group. Three patients who had IgA nephropathy and IgA-antigliadin antibodies underwent jejunal biopsy, and two showed mucosal atrophy. In these two patients urinary abnormalities, together with the IgA-antigliadin antibodies, disappeared completely after three months and five months, respectively, of following a gluten free diet. Circulating IgA immune complexes were found in most patients who had coeliac disease and Berger's disease associated with IgA-antigliadin antibodies, suggesting overactivity of the B cells producing IgA in both conditions. By contrast, a circulating IgA rheumatoid factor was detectable in three of the four patients who had IgA nephropathy and asymptomatic coeliac disease but was always absent in children who had coeliac disease but did not show signs of renal disease. These results suggest that a more complex abnormality in the IgA immune response is necessary for renal disease to become manifest in patients who have gluten enteropathy.