Background: Endomysial antibodies have recently been shown to react with tissue transglutaminase. This study was undertaken to investigate whether the tissue distribution of transglutaminase is also compatible with reticulin, jejunal, and fibroblast autoantibody binding patterns.
Methods: Sera from patients with and without celiac disease, monoclonal tissue transglutaminase antibodies, and sera from mice parenterally immunized against commercially available tissue transglutaminase, transglutaminase complexed with gliadin, or gliadin were used in indirect immunofluorescence and double-staining studies using both rodent and primate tissues as substrates. Also, antibody competition, affinity chromatography, and potassium thiocyanate extraction studies were undertaken.
Results: Tissue transglutaminase antibody binding patterns were identical with the extracellular binding patterns seen with celiac patient sera. Human umbilical cord-derived fibroblasts exhibited both cytoplasmic and extracellular matrix staining. Double staining with patients' sera and tissue transglutaminase antibodies showed complete overlapping. Tissue transglutaminase effectively absorbed reticulin-endomysial antibodies from celiac sera, and patients' sera blocked the staining of the monoclonal tissue transglutaminase antibodies. Potassium thiocyanate extraction abolished the staining patterns, but they were elicited again after readdition of tissue transglutaminase.
Conclusions: Reticulin, endomysial, and jejunal antibodies detect transglutaminase in both rodent and primate tissues, indicating that these tissue autoantibodies are identical.