Neutrophil autoantibodies in ulcerative colitis: familial aggregation and genetic heterogeneity

Gastroenterology. 1992 Aug;103(2):456-61. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(92)90834-l.


The possibility that the neutrophil autoantibodies associated with ulcerative colitis represent a genetic marker of susceptibility was investigated by determining their prevalence in unaffected relatives of patients. Neutrophil autoantibodies were detected using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and positive values were confirmed by indirect immunofluorescence. An increased prevalence of neutrophil antibodies was found not only in the probands (68%, 26/38) but also in their clinically unaffected family members (15.7%, 17/108) compared with controls (2.9%, 1/35) (P less than 0.0001 and P less than 0.05, respectively). These results were confirmed with sera from a second center, where 86.4% (19/22) of probands were positive and 20.9% (9/43) of their relatives were positive. The prevalence of neutrophil autoantibodies in the relatives of probands who were antibody positive (21.4%) was significantly greater than the prevalence in relatives of probands who were antibody negative (7%; P less than 0.05). The findings are consistent with these antibodies being a potential marker of genetic susceptibility to ulcerative colitis and suggest the possibility of genetic heterogeneity within this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Child
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies