Isotype distribution and clinical relevance of anti-beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2-GPI) antibodies: importance of IgA isotype

Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Sep;117(3):574-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1999.01007.x.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of IgG, IgA and IgM anti-beta2-GPI antibodies in anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), and to establish the clinical significance of IgA type antibodies compared with the other isotypes. Anti-beta2-GPI antibodies were measured in the sera of 70 patients by solid-phase enzyme immunoassay in gamma-irradiated polystyrene plates coated with human purified beta2-GPI. Thirty-three out of the 70 patients were classified as having APS: three of them had primary, and 30 had secondary APS related to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The remaining 37 patients had SLE without APS. Anti-beta2-GPI antibodies of IgG, IgA and IgM isotypes were present in 84.8%, 59.3% and 51.5% of patients with APS. Both the frequency and the level of each isotype were significantly higher in patients with APS. This association was very strong for IgA (P = 0.0004 for the antibody frequency and P < 0.0001 for the antibody level), as well as for IgG type antibodies (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001), whereas it was weaker for IgM (P = 0.01 and P = 0.04). A strong relationship was demonstrated between increased IgA anti-beta2-GPI antibody levels and a history of venous thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, heart valve disease, livedo reticularis and epilepsy. IgG anti-beta2-GPI antibodies were associated with the presence of lupus anticoagulant (LA) in addition to the main features of APS. However, antibodies of IgM isotype were related only to thrombocytopenia and heart valve disease. We recommend the evaluation of anti-beta2-GPI antibodies of IgA isotype in addition to IgG in patients with clinical suspicion of APS.

MeSH terms

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / blood
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin A / classification
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / classification
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / classification
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / classification
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Male
  • beta 2-Glycoprotein I


  • Autoantibodies
  • Glycoproteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • beta 2-Glycoprotein I