Diagnostic value of anti-F-actin antibodies in a French multicenter study

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1050:266-73. doi: 10.1196/annals.1313.028.


According to international criteria, autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) type 1 is characterized by the presence of antinuclear or anti-smooth muscle antibodies (SMA) with F-actin specificity. SMA have been found in 85% of AIH patients, but are not specific to this disease, and anti-F-actin specificity is not always verified when SMA are detected. The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of anti-F-actin antibodies in a large population. A multicenter study involving 12 clinical centers was performed. Patients were selected on the basis of the presence of F-actin SMA detected by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on rat liver-kidney-stomach sections and was confirmed by IIF on Hep2 cells treated with colchicine, or F-actin dot-blot. The clinical status of patients was determined from their medical records. One hundred sixty-eight patients were included: 76% women, 24% men; mean age of 45 years (range, 2-88 years), with a bimodal age distribution. Sixty percent had AIH type 1, and 40% had another disease. In the group of women younger than 25 years, 90% had AIH type 1. Other pathologies associated with antiactin were other liver diseases (19%), including viral hepatitis C (7%), and non-liver diseases (21%), including connective tissue diseases (12%). Antibody titers were higher in AIH than in other diseases. Antiactin antibodies are of major diagnostic value in AIH, especially in young women; they may be found in other disease settings, but mostly at low levels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Actins / immunology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / diagnosis
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / immunology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • France
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic*
  • Muscle, Smooth / immunology
  • Rats
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Actins
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Colchicine